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A Record of Settlement, Organization, 
Progress and Achievement 


Supervising Editor 







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Table of Contents 






















































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History of Racine 

City and County 

History of Racine County 






Racine County is located in the southeastern part of the state, 
in what is kno^\■n as the Great Lake Basin. It is bounded on the 
north by Milwaukee and "Waukesha Counties, on the east by Lake 
Michigan, on the south by KenosL.. County, and on the west by 
the County of Walworth. Its greatest length from east to west 
is about twenty-eight miles, and its greatest width from north to 
south sixteen miles. The area of the county is 323 square miles. 


The largest stream in the county is the Fox River, which flows 
in a southerly direction through the western part. It crosses the 
northern l)oinKlary about four miles from the northwest corner, 
passes through the towns of Waterford, Rochester and Burlington, 
and enters Kenosha County near the southwest corner of Section 
23, Townshi]) 2, Range 19. Its principal tributary in Racine 
County is the Muskego Creek, which falls into it near the village 
of Rochester. Sugar Creek, a smaller tributary, comes from the 
northwest and empties into the Fox near the City of Burlington. 

The Root River enters from Milwaukee County, about five 
miles west of the northeast cornei', and flows southwardly through 
the towns of Caledonia and Mount Pleasant until it empties its 
waters into Lake Michigan within the corporate limits of the 
City of Racine. 

The South Fork of the Root River rises in the northern part 
of Kenosha County and flows in a northerly direction through the 
Towns of Yorkville and Raymond, entering Milwaukee Count}^ 


near the center of the north line of Section 3, Township 4, Range 
21. These streams, with their minor confluents, afford good nat- 
ural drainage to all parts of the county. The Root River is navi- 
gable for lake steamers, which make frequent calls at the port of 
Racine, bringing in or taking out goods. 


On March 39, 1873, Gov. C. C. Washburn approved an act of 
the Wisconsin Legislature "to provide for a complete geological 
survey of Wisconsin," and Dr. I. A. Lapham was placed in charge 
of the survey. In February, 1875, Dr. Lapham was succeeded as 
chief geologist by Dr. O. W. Wight, who served liut one year, 
when he was succeeded by T. C. Chamljcrlin. :Sh: Chamberlin 
made some investigations in Eastern Wisconsin and published the 
results of his observations in connection with the reports of Lap- 
ham and Wight, in Volume II of the Reports of the State Geolog- 
ical Survey, from which most of the facts relating to the geology 
of Racine County, as given in this chapter, have been adapted. 


What is called by geologists the Glacial or Pleistocene period 
— sometimes designated as the "Ice Age" — includes the latter 
part of the Tertiary and the earliest portion of the Quarternary 
period. During the closing years of the Tertiary period there was 
a gradual lowering of temperatures throughout the greater por- 
tion of the north temperate zone. These falling temperatures were 
caused by the heavy snowfall of one season not all melting before 
another winter came and added to the great mass of snow already 
upon the earth's surface. The weight of each successive snowfall 
lieing added to the huge mass Ijelow, compressed it into a body 
of solid ice, called a glacier. During the warmer portion of each 
year the water from the melting ice found its way to the bottom 
of the glacier and formed a smooth or sli])])ery surface upon the 
bed I'ocks. so that in time the entire glacier began to move slowly 
towai-<l ;i lower altitude. As it moved along it dislodged soil, 
bowldci's, etc., and carried them far away from the place where 
they were fii'st laid by the hand of Nature. Through their greater 
weight and solidity, these dislodged materials worked their way 
to th(' bottom of the glacier and became the agents of erosion. 
The surfaces of the bed rocks, where exposed to this glacial action, 
were smoothed and mai-ked with scratches (called striae), hills 


were made to assume a more rounded form, and valleys were 
widened and deepened. Through these valleys the water from 
the melting glacier ran in streams, thus forming creeks and rivers. 
From the striae left upon the bed rock, geologists have been able to 
determine the course of the glacier's movement. In Eastern 
Wisconsin striae have been found trending to the southeast, south 
and southwest. 

One of the greatest glaciers in North America covered the 
entire region from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes and 
extended as far southward as the central portions of Illinois and 
Indiana. It included the whole State of Wisconsin and left abun- 
dant evidences of its presence in the ninnerous small lakes, depos- 
its of glacial drift, etc. The Glacial Epoch or invasion was the 
last important geologic event to precede the present age and leave 
a wide influence upon the physical features of the earth. -lust 
how long ago that invasion occurred is not certain, but from data 
obtained by geological research, the investigators think that the 
ice retreated from the northern part of the United States at least 
25.000 years ago. Equally uncertain is the length of time the 
glacial ice covered the surface of that region before it all melted 
away, some geologists placing the duration of the Ice Age at 
500,000 years. As the ice disappeared the temj^eratures rose 
again, but the surface of the glacier was a barren plain, without 
either animal or vegetable life. The action of the winds and rain 
leveled down the rough places and the heat of the sun warmed the 
surface until plants made their appearance, and in time the great 
glacial plain became habitable for animals and men. It was by 
this process that the surface of the eastern part of Wisconsin was 


As the ice of the glacier gradually dissolved under the influ- 
ence of the slowly rising temioeratures, the solid matter, such as 
soils, disintegrated rocks and bowlders, was deposited upon the 
bed rocks of the region in the form of drift, till or older diluvium, 
generally included in the term "glacial drift," which forms the 
soil of the present age and varies in depth and fertility. Along 
the eastern border of Racine County, extending back from Lake 
Michigan an average distance of about one mile, the surface shows 
sand and gravel, mixed with clays and marly material. The 
gravel is usually fine and much waterworn, and is rarely over 


twenty i'eet in depth, the average being about ten feet. At the 
base of this deposit, along the lake shore, numerous springs issue, 
the clay below being impervious to water. Some of these springs 
are strongly tinctured with iron. In the neighborhood of "The 
Point," just north of the City of Racine, the drift rests directly 
upon the bowlder cla,y. In excavating the laminated, compact 
clay at the base of the gravelly deposit separates easily from the 
hardpan or impervious clay below. The western limit of this drift 
deposit is marked by a low ridg<\ beyond which the drift is deeper 
and of a somewhat different character. Most of the small lakes 
in North America owe their existence to glacial action. As the 
ice melted, the water that was unable to find its way to the run- 
ning streams settled in the low places and formed lakes. Several 
of these glacial lakes are to be seen in Racine County, viz.: Wind 
Lake, the largest body of water in the county, is situated in the 
northern part of Norway Township; Brown's Lake, about a mile 
northeast of the City of Burlington, is the next largest; Bonner's 
Lake, in the southwest corner of Burlington Township; Eagle 
Lake, just south of the center of Dover Township; Long Lake, a 
short distance north of Burlington; Waubeesee, a small lake just 
west of Wind Lake; Tishigan Lake, in the eastern part of Water- 
ford Township, and Starkey Lake, a small body of water in Sec- 
tion 23, Towaiship 4, Range 19. 


The rocks and other inorganic substances dislodged and carried 
along by the glacier were deposited, as the ice melted, in ridges 
called nK.raines. Along the edge of the glacier the ridge thus 
formed is known as a "lateral moraine"; where two bodies of ice 
met the ridge is usually distinguished by being larger and con- 
taining a greater diversity of minerals and is called a "medial 
moraine," and where the last deposit was made, that is, where 
the glacier came to an end, the ridge is called a "terminal mo- 
raine." In these moraines the character of the bowlders indicates 
that they have been brought there from a distance. This is espe- 
cially ti-uc of the granitoid bowlders, conunonly called "nigger 
heads," which are entirely different in structure from any rocks 
found in the natural deposits where they occur. 

One of the largest and best defined moraines in the State of 
Wisconsin is the ridge known as the "Potash Kettle Range," the 


iinrth(>™ torininus of which is in Kewauneo County, not far from 
the littk' town of Casco. From this point the range trends south- 
westward, through the Counties of Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond 
du Lac, Waukesha, and the northern part of Walworth. There 
it divides, one branch running southward through Richmond and 
Darien, thence eastward to Lake (leneva, then via Burlington 
southward into Kenosha County, and traces of it have been noted 
beyond the state line in Northern Illinois. 

There is no potash to be found anywhere in the ridge, the 
name having been applied on account of the numerous "sinks," 
"potholes," or funnel-shaped depressions resembling the kettles 
used in the extraction or eva})oration (^f potash from waters sur- 
charged with that substance. Some of these depressions are quite 
shallow, appearing as though they had been formed by pressing 
a great saucer into the soft earth, and others are sixty feet or 
more in de^jth. The elevations or knolls along the moraine corre- 
spond in shape to the depressions, resembling inverted saucers 
or kettles. The composition of the ridge is chiefly clay, sand, 
coarse gravel and bowlders. A few bowlders of Archaean rock, 
irregular in shape, have been found and have been recognized by 
geologists as belonging to the Paleozoic Period. The fact that 
there are no known Archaean formations near is regarded as con- 
clusive evidence that the Kettle Range is of glacial origin and 
morainic in character. Near Burlington Mr. Chamberlin noted 
an exposure of a thin-bedded, argillaceous dolomite, not found 
elsewhere in the range, containing considerable munbers of the 
Trilobite and a few other fossils. Pure dolomite consists almost 
entirely of carbonate of calcium and magnesium, while argillace- 
ous dolomite contains clay in greater or less quantities, which 
renders it unfit for or inferior as a building stone. Native copper 
has also been found at various places in this range, but in small 
quantities. At Smith's quarry, near Burlington, Mr. Chamberlin 
looked for striae, but found none sufficiently pronounced to deter- 
mine the course of the glacier. At other places they were well 
defined and showed that the direction was south in some places 
and in others southwest, indicating that the range is a medial 


The geological formation of Racine County, below the glacial 
drift, is pretty clearly shown by sections of artesian wells, of 


which several have been drilled in the county. Chamberlin, in his 
Report on the Geology of Eastern Wisconsin, mentions a well 
of this character at the Western Union (Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul) Junction (now Corliss), about five miles west of the 
City of Racine, where the following data were obtained: 

Glacial drift 147 feet 

Niagara limestone 233 

Cincinnati shale 200 

Trenton and Galena limestones 285 

St. Peter's sandstone 100 

Lower magnesian limestones 141 

Potsdam sandstones 157 

Total depth of well 1,263 feet 

The surface of this well is 144 feet aliove Lake Michigan, 
hence the bottom is 541 feet below the sea level. A small flow of 
water was struck in St. Peter sandstone and a much stronger flow 
in the sandstones of the Potsdam gToup, where the drilling was 
stopped. When the drill was withdrawn the water rose to a height 
of forty feet above the surface, or 184 feet above the level of Lake 
Michigan. Says Chamberlin: "As only a few points in the east- 
ern part of Racine and Kenosha Counties exceed that elevation, 
this well has demonstrated the possibility of obtaining fountains 
over a considerable area." 

Another artesian well is that known as the "First Ward 
Well," on JMonument Square in the City of Racine. Dr. P. R. Hoy 
reported a section of this well to the State Geological Survey, 
showing the geological structure at this point to be as follows: 

Glacial drift 115 feet 

Niagara limestone 305 

Cincinnati shale 185 

Galena and Trenton limestones 283 

St. Peter's sandstone 48 

Lower magnesian limestones 100 

Madison sandstone 47 

Mendota limestone 31 

Red sandstone 110 

Hard sandstone 10 

Soft sandstone 6 

Total depth of well 1,240 feet 

In this well the strata from the Madison sandstone downward 
belong to the Potsdam group. As in the former well, the first 
flow of water came while the drill was in the St. Peter sandstone. 


It was increased in the Madison sandstone and still further aug- 
mented in the soft Potsdam sandstone, where work was sus- 
pended. The record of this well was regarded as peculiarly 
valuable by Mr. Chamberlin, in that it shows the existence of three 
\\ater-})earing strata above the middle Potsdam. 

What is known as the Stephen Bull well is located on the 
lake shore, not far from Eleventh Street, in the City of Racine, 
and there is also an artesian well at the woolen mills. Some years 
ago a deep well was bored at Union Grove. At a depth of about 
( me thousand feet the water rose almost to the surface. Drilling 
was continued in the hope of making it a flowing well, but appar- 
ently the drill pierced an underground outlet, the water disap- 
peared and the w^ell was abandoned. No sectional data concerning 
these wells are obtainable. 

The deepest artesian well in the county is the one bored for 
the county insane asylum. It was first bored in 1891, but was 
deepened to over fourteen hundred feet in 1901. A section of this 
well for the first eight hundred feet shows: 

Glacial drift 180 feet 

Niagara limestone 300 

Cincinnati shale 160 

Trenton and Galena limestones 160 

800 feet 

Below this depth it seems that no detailed record of the strata 
was kept, the drillers reporting that they passed through sand- 
stone and limestone fonnations until the well was completed. 
From the sections of the wells given it may be seen that the geo- 
logical structure of the county is about the same in all parts where 
borings have been made, the only variations being in the thickness 
of the different strata. The depth of the glacial drift varies from 
115 feet in the First Ward well to 180 feet in the well at the 
insane asylum, while the Trenton and Galena limestones vary 
from 160 feet in the asylum well to 285 feet in the well at the 
Western Union Junction, or Corliss. 


In connection with the physical features of Racine County 
there is one phenomenon not to be found in the inland counties. 
Along the lake shore, where the banks are steep and high, and 
foi-med of clay, sand and gravel, those banks are being constantly 


undermined by the action (»f the waves. Just north of Racine, 
whei'e "The Point" projects into the U^ke, this erosion or en- 
croachment is considei'able. Dr. P. R. Hoy, who, it seems, was 
deeply interested in scientific research, investigated tliis subject 
and rejjortcd tlie erosion to be about four feet annually. 

S. Gr. Knight, of Racine, was employed by the State Geological 
Survey in 1874 to measure the section lines frf)m the nearest cor- 
ner or quarter post to the lake shore, and compare their length 
with that given in the original Government Survey of 1836. He 
carefully reviewed the lines and re^xtrted that the annual erosion 
varied from six inches to six feet four inches, the average along 
the shore in the vicinity of Racine being about three feet four 
inches, thus bearing out the estimate of Dr. Hoy some years 


There are but few mineral deposits in Racine County of com- 
mercial importance, the principal ones being the clay beds and 
the Niagara limestone formations. When ]\Ir. Chamberlin made 
his survey of this jjart of the state he fomid the clay deposits at 
"The Point" were being utilized in the manufacture of brick, the 
two yards of Erskine & Morris and Burdick Brothers turning out 
from 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 brick annually. The l>riek were cream 
coloi-ed and were made from the red clay and a layer of sand from 
the overlying beach deposit. In recent years the manufacture of 
brick at Racine has proven to be unprofitable and no brick are 
made in or near the city at the present time. 

The Niagara limestone about the mouth of the Root River 
consists of two beds — the Guelph and the Racine. The latter is 
distinguished as a blue, gray or butf brittle dolomite, of uneven 
texture and frequently stained with iron oxide. Fossils are more 
abundant in the Racine than in the Guelph beds of this stone. 
Ki'oiii its piu'ity the Niagara limestone is well adapted to the mak- 
ing of a fine quality of lime. This fact was discovered early 
thi'oughout the eastern part of the state and kilns were established 
at many of the exposures. Forty years ago nearly half a nullion 
barrels of lime were made annually from the Niagara formation 
in Racine and some of the other eastern counties. One of the 
largest jiroducers was the firm of Horlick & Son, who maintained 
a branch in Chicago, their annual output ranging from 60,000 to 
75,000 barrels. The Vaughan kilns turned out from 600 to 1,000 


barrels every week, aud the Beswick kilns produced 20,000 barrels 
per yeai'. With the iru-reasing demand for concrete construction 
the burning of lime has l)een discontinued and attentitm turned to 
crushing stone for building purposes and macadamizing highways. 
At the Niagara exposures near Racine large stone crushers are 
constantly at work preparing this material, and thousands of car- 
loads are shi|)ped away annually. 

All the limestone formations of the state are capable of Ijeing 
used as building stone. This is especially true of the Mendota and 
the Lower Magnesian limestones of the Potsdam formation, which 
are quarried at a number of places in the eastern part of the state. 


The following table shows the altitudes of places in different 
parts of Racine County. These altitudes were determined by 
engineers in the construction of railroads, and by survej'ors em- 
ployed by the State Geological Survey. The figures in the first 
column show the elevation in feet above Lake Michigan, and in 
the second cohmni above the sea level: 

C. & N. W. Railroad Station, Racine 40 618 

Racine Junction 43 621 

State Line 90 668 

Caledonia 128 706 

Western Union Junction 144 722 

Eagle Lake 186 764 

Wind Lake 190 768 

Bonner's Lake 200 778 

Burlington 203 781 

Kansasville 240 818 

Waterford 246 824 

From these figures it will be seen that the surface of the 
county is either level or moderately undulating, and the soil, which 
is of glacial origin, is generally fertile. Probably the most pro- 
ductive soil for agricultural purposes is found in the Fox River 
Valley, in the western part of the county, but there is no portion 
of Racine County where crops adapted to this latitude will not 
thrive. Statistics regarding the prinr-ipal crops will be found in 
another chapter. 




Nearly a r-entuTV and a half elapsed after the first white settle- 
ments were established along the Atlantic coast before attention 
was drawn to the fact that the interior of North America had once 
been peopled by a peculiar race. Says one of the reports of the 
United States Bureau of Ethnology: "During a period beginning 
some time after the close of the Ice Age and ending with the com- 
ing of the white man — or only a few generations before — the 
central part of North America was inhabited by a people who 
had emerged to some extent from the darkness of savagery, had 
acquired certain domestic arts, and practiced some well defined 
lines of industry. The location and boundaries inhabited by them 
are fairly well marked by the mounds and earthworks they 

The center of this ancient civilization — if such it may be 
called — appears to have been in what is now the State of Ohio. 
Iowa may be regarded as its western frontier, though a few relics 
have been found west of the Missouri River. From the mounds 
and earthworks they left, the name of "Mound Builders" has been 
given to this race by archaeologists. Most of the mounds are of 
conical shape and when opened have generally been found to con- 
tain human skeletons, hence they have been designated as burial 
mounds. Others are in the form of truncated pyramids — that is, 
square or rectangular at the base and flat on the top. The mounds 
of this class are generally much higher than the ordinary conical 
or bm-ial mounds and are supposed to have been used as lookouts 
or signal stations, a theory which is supported by the fact that 
charred wood and ashes have been found upon the summits of 
several of such mounds, indicating that signal fires had once been 
lighted there. Here and there are to be seen well-defined lines of 


earthworks, apparently havino' been thrown n]i as places of de- 
fense ai>ainst invading enemies. In a few instances, the discovery 
of a lai'ge nionnd, surrounded by an embankment, outside of 
which are a number of smaller mounds, has given rise to the theory 
that such places were centers of religious ceremony or sacrifice. 
Who were the Mound Builders? The question is more easily 
asked than answered. Among the earliest arch;i?ologists to study 
the subject were Squier and Davis, who, about the middle of the 
Nineteenth Century, published a work entitled "Ancient Monu- 
ments of the Mississippi Valley." Between the years 1845 and 
1848 these two investigators opened over two hundred mounds, the 
description of which was published by the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. They advanced the hypothesis that the Mound Builders 
first established their civilization in the Ohio Valley, whence they 
worked their way gradually southward into Mexico and Central 
America, where the white man fomid their descendants in the 
Aztec Indians. Other early investigators accepted this theory, 
but Baldwin, in his "Ancient America," published in 1874, takes 
a different view: Says he: 

"Careful study of what is shown in the many reports on these 
ancient remains seems plainly to authorize the conclusion that 
the Mound Builders entered the country at the south and began 
their settlements near the Gulf. Here they nuist have been very 
numerous, while their works at every point on the limit of their 
distribution north, east and west indicate a much less numerous 
border of pojjulation. Remains of their works have l)een traced 
through a great extent of country. They are found in West Vir- 
ginia and are spread through Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa to 
Nebraska. They are found all over the intermediate and more 
southern country, being most numerous in Ohio, Indiana, Wis- 
consin, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louis- 
iana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas." 


Pi'ior to the establishment of the United States Bureau of 
Ethnology, the investigation of the Mound Builders' relies was 
conducted by individuals, and nuich of it was done in a desultoiy 
sort of way. Soon after the l)ureau was organized it began a sys- 
tematic study of the remains left by this ancient race and dis- 
covei'ed many things that private investigators had overlooked. 


lBi!l,:Ba!.iMi ' ,. 



Prof. Cyrus Thomas, of the bureau, divided the region inhabited 
hy the Mound Builders into eight districts, each of which is 
marked by certain characteristics not common to the others. Be- 
ginning at the eastern part of the country, these districts are 
as follows: 

1. The Huron-Iroquois District, which embraces the countiy 
once inhabited by the Huron and Iroquois Indians, including the 
lower peninsula of Michigan, a strip across Northern Ohio, the 
greater ])art of the State of New York, and extending northward 
into Canada. Burial mounds are numerous throughout this dis- 
trict, a few fortifications or earthworks have been noted, but the 
"hut rings," or foundations of ancient dwellings are more plen- 
tiful here than elsewhere and form the distinguishing feature of 
the district. 

2. The Appalachian District, which includes the mountain- 
ous regions of Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, South- 
western Virginia, and the northern part of Georgia. Abundant 
evidences were found in this territory to show that it was inhab- 
ited by a tribe different in many respects from the i)e()])le of other 
districts. The mounds are of a different construction, stone 
graves are numerous, and among the relics discovered are a num- 
ber of more or less ornamental tobacco pipes and utensils of 

3. The Tennessee District, which includes Middle and West- 
ern Tennessee, Southern Illinois, nearly all of Kentucky, a strip 
through the central part of Georgia, and a small section of North- 
ern Alabama. This district is marked by fortifications with cov- 
ered ways leading to streams or springs, indicating that they were 
constructed with a view to withstanding a siege. Pottery is plen- 
tiful, especially the long-necked water jar, and several stone 
images, believed to have been worshiped as idols, have been found 
in the mounds of this district. 

4. The Ohio District, which takes in all of the State of Ohio, 
except the strip across the northern part that is included in the 
Huron-Iroquois District, the eastern half of Indiana,and the south- 
western part of West Virginia. In this district both the burial 
mounds and fortifications are mnnerous. The former are larger 
than the burial mounds found (>lsewhere, frequently having a 
diameter of one hundred feet or more and rising in a few instances 
to a height of eighty feet. The Grave Creek Mound, in West 


Virginia, is one of the greatest lookout or signal station mounds 
so far discovered, and the Great Serj^ent, a fortification in the 
form of a snake, situated on a bluff in Adams County, Ohio, is one 
of the most perfect specimens of this class of works. There are 
also a number of sacrificial mounds, surrounded by embankments. 
One of these, situated on a bluff near Anderson, Indiana, is con- 
nected with the White River by a subterranean passage, the re- 
mains of which can still be clearly seen, though the timbers with 
which it was once walled have long since rotted away. 

5. The Illinois District, embracing the northern and central 
parts of Illinois, Eastern Iowa, Northeastern Missouri, and the 
Avestern half of Indiana. About the only relics found in the 
moinids of this district are decayed human bones, fragments of 
pottery, flint arrow and spear heads, and stone chips. The great 
mound near Cahokia, Illinois, is a fine example of the truncated 
pyramid variety and is one of the largest of that class known. 

6. The Wisconsin District, which includes the state fnim 
which it takes its name, the northeastern corner of Iowa, ^Linne- 
sota. and the Dakotas. The distinguishing features of this district 
are the effigy mounds, Avhich are given the form of some bird or 
animal. Professor Thonuis, in the Twelfth Annual Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology (p. 31), says: "Effigy mounds are almost 
limited to the Wisconsin District, the only exceptions known 
being two or three in Ohio and two in Georgia." These mounds 
represent birds, bears, foxes, etc., though the bird effigies are by 
far the most munerous. They are believed to have represented 
the totem of some tril»e, or some living creature that was an 
object of veneration. Near Prairie du Chien is a bird mound that 
juc^asures sixty feet from beak to tail, one hundred and two feet 
aci-oss the outstretched wings, and is about three or four feet 

7. The Arkansas District, including the State of Arkansas, 
))a)'t of Northern Louisiana and tlie southeastern corner of Mis- 
souri. Pottery has been found in aliundance here, hut rings and 
villag(> sites have been noted, though the liurial mounds nre com- 
paratively small and few in number, often containing but a single 

8. The Gulf District embraces the country bordering upon 
the Gulf of Mexico. In this district are a number of fine truncated 
]iyramids, some of them with terraces. The entire district is 



rich in pottery, polished stones, Avcapons of obsidian, etc. Skele- 
tons have been found in caves and others buried in bark coffins 
and a small mound erected over the remains. Some writers think 
the terraced mounds were "battle mounds," the Avarriors on one 
terrace having- been able to hurl missiles over the heads of those 
on the terrace below into the ranks of their assailants. 


All the early writers on the subject of the Mound Builders 
held to the theory that they were of a different race from the 
Indians found here by the white man, and that the period when 
they inhabited the country was more or less remote, some con- 
tending that they had been extinct for centuries before Columbus 
discovered the New World. Baldwin, who was one of the last of 
this early school of archseologists, undertakes to prove great an- 
tiquity by the large trees found growing upon some of the mounds, 
the crumbling state of the bones found in them, the change in the 
course of the streams upon which the mounds were built in some 
cases, and the ignorance of the Indians regarding the earthworks. 
On page 60 of his work he says: "There is no trace or probability 
of any direct relationship whatever between the Mound Builders 
and the barbarous Indians foimd in the country." 

In more recent years, especially since the exhaustive research 
made by the Bureau of Ethnology, archteologists are practically 
a unit in the conclusion that the Mound Builder was nothing- 
more than the ancestor of the North American Indian. Early 
French and Spanish explorers in the southern part of the United 
States foimd that the chief of the Natchez always dwelt in a lodge 
erected upon an artificial mound. Pierre Margry, one of the early 
French writers upon America, says: "When the chief dies they 
(Icinolish his cabin and then i-aise a new moinid, on which they 
build the cabin of the chief who is to replace the one deceased m 
this dignity, for the chief never lodges in the house of his prede- 

How long this cvistom prevailed no one knows, but it might 
be the reason for the large number of small artificial mounds in 
the coiuitiy once inhabited by the Natchez and their ancestors. 
The Yamasees of Georgia built mounds over those slain in battle, 
and Charlevoix found among the Canadian tribes some who 


erected earthworks very similar to the relics of this character 
found, ill the Huron-Iroquois District of Thomas' division. 

Ill the early exploration of the mounds, some surprise was 
expressed at the presence of a large number of small mounds in 
which were found charcoal and burnt or baked clay. Subsequent 
investigations have disclosed the fact that among certain tribes, 
particularly those of the lower Mississippi country, the family 
hut was built upon an artificial mound, usually of small dimen- 
sions, and that the house was constructed of poles and plastered 
with mud. Upon the death of the head of the family, the body 
was l)uri('d under the center of the hut, which was then burned. 
This custom, practiced perhaps for many generations, would 
account for the great number of small mounds, each containing a 
single skeleton. 

Another thing that tends to refute the argument in favor of 
a se]')arate race and great age is that white men have found some 
of the southwestern tribes making pottery very similar in design 
and texture to that taken from some of the ancient mounds. And 
the traditions of these tribes are that such pottery has been made 
by their people farther back in the past than any one can deter- 
mine with certainty. In the light of these discoveries, and others 
along the same line, it is not surprising that the leading archaeolo- 
gists of the country have abandoned the theory of separate race 
and great antiquity and have come to the conclusion that the 
Mound Builder was nothing more than the ancestor, more or less 
remote, of the North American Indian. 


While much of this general history and description of the 
Mound Builders is not directly a])i)licable to Racine County, it is 
hoped that the reader will find it of interest, inasmuch as it throws 
sonic light upon the peoj)le who formerly inhabited this section 
of the counti-y and enables him to understand better the character 
of the mounds found in Southeastei'u Wisconsin. Originally, 
Racine County offered a I'icli field for the archieologist. But many 
of the mounds have been ruthlessly destroyed by relic hunters, 
most of whom could not understand or appreciate the ethnological 
im])ortance of the relics they carried away. Added to this, the 
plow of the husbandman has done much to level some of the monu- 
ments of this aboriginal people. 











Dr. I. A. Laphain, in liis "Antiquities of Wisconsin," thus 
describes a group of mounds and some earthworks on tlie high 
ground overlooking the Root River, about a niilo and a half from 
Lake Michigan: 

"They consist mostly of circular biuial mounds, of no great 
size or height, with one circular enclosure and several tapering 
ridges. There are also two semicircles opening on the edge of the 
l)luff towards the river. The group of very numerous and remark- 
able UKiunds represented at the lower part of the plat was sur- 
veyed with some minuteness, with a view to determining the order 
of arrangement upon which they were constructed. The result 
shows very clearly that no order or system was adopted. Each 
person biiried was placed where chance might lead the relatives or 
friends to select the spot. No three mounds could be found on 
the same straight line; indeed, it seems as if it were the intention 
of the builders to avoid all appearance of regularity. Ijarge 
mounds are interposed with smaller ones, without regard to sym- 
metry or succession." 

Dr. P. R. Hoy o])ened one of the mounds of this group and 
found several skeletons in a sitting posture, facing east. The 
skulls, except one, probably that of a woman, were remarkably 
thick and solid, but the other bones were very much decayed. The 
skeletons were found in a basin shaped excavation in the original 
soil, about eighteen inches deep, and were arranged side by side. 
No ornaments or utensils of any kind Avere found. This group is 
near the old })lank road that led from Racine to Rochester and 
Burlington. Subsequently, Dr. Hoy made further investigations 
here and found two pottery vases in one of the mounds. They 
were unearthed in a gravel pit about two and a half feet below 
the original surface and with them were two skeletons. One vase 
was of cream colored clay and would hold about five quarts; the 
other was reddish in color and was aboiit half as large. Upon this 
mound was a burr oak stump, in which Dr. Hoy counted 250 rings. 

The group of moiuids from which Mound Cemetery takes its 
name, about a mile west of the City of Racine, has been described 
as "the most numerous and extensive group in the county." Here 
Dr. La])ham and Dr. Hoy made rather extended investigations 
and in his report the former says: "We excavated fourteen of the 
mounds, some with the greatest possible care. They are sepulch- 
ral, of a uniform construction, and most of them contained more 


than ono skeleton. In one instance we fonnd no less than seven. 
We could detect no appearance of stratification, each mound hav- 
ing been built at one time and not by successive additions. During 
the investigations we obtained sufficient evidence to warrant me 
in the following conclusions: The bodies were regularly buried 
in a sitting or partly kneeling posture, facing the east, with the 
legs placed under them. They were covered with a bark or log 
roofing, over which the mound was built." 

Here, as in the former mounds, the skeletons were found in 
a basin excavated in the natural soil to a depth of two or three 
feet, and the mound erected over them. 

On the point of a bluff near the Root River, north of Mound 
Cemetery, was found a mound about six feet high, in connection 
^^^th which was an embankment 235 feet in length, two feet high, 
twelve feet wide at the end nearest the mound, and tapering to a 
point at the west end near a sj)ring. Farther east, on the same side 
of the river, is a single low mound called the "Erskine Mound," 
and on the opposite side of the river is a cluster bounded on the east 
by a lizard mound eighty feet in length. North of this, on a bluff, 
were found three lizard mounds, six conical mounds, an oblong or 
oval mound and two semicircular embankments about two feet 
high and ten or twelve feet broad. Three-fourths of a mile south 
of this group, on a sandy ridge, is the "Slausson Mounds," eight 
in number. Near the east end of Mound Cemetery and not far 
from the Root River, is the "Teegarden Croup," one of the most 
interesting in the soi;theastern part of Wisconsin. Here is an 
embankment 235 feet long, varying from two to twelve feet in 
width and about two feet high, tapering to a point at one end. 
Another work in the same form is about thirty-five feet long and 
between these eni])ankments are two conical mounds. 

On the northeast quarter of Section 6, Township 22, Range 4, 
in the Tdwn of Caledonia, is an old village site, and another village 
was located on the shore of Lake Michigan, about two and a half 
miles southeast of Tabor Station, on the Chicago & Northwesteni 
Railroad. A little south of this is an old burying ground. Around 
these places have been foiuid arrow and spear heads of flint and 
a nun)])er of other interesting relics. 

Near the center of Raymond Township, in the northwest cor- 
ner of Section 15, a short distance west of the South Fork of the 
Root River, are two small momids, and in the north half of Sec- 


tion 3, near the Milwaukee County line, stone axes, flint arrow 
points and other implements of stone have been found in abun- 
dance. On this site the Potawatomi Indians once had a cornfield. 

In the Town of Norway, in Section 8, Township 20, Range 4, 
on the west shore of Wind Lake, were five mounds known as the 
"Jjapham Group," but they are now almost obliterated. In Sec- 
tion 17 of the same township an old village site was discovered 
and a number of stone axes, arrow points, etc., collected. This 
was a favorite camping spot of the Potawatomi. Sentinel Mound, 
at the extreme southwestern extremity of Lake Wanbeesee, in 
Section 18, was originally fourteen feet in diameter and nearly 
four feet high, and in Section 19, about a mile and a half farther 
southwest, are the remains of the Indian Hill Mounds, two in 
number, each thirty feet in diameter and three feet high. In the 
southwest quarter of Section 8 are the Larson ^Mounds, and in 
the northwest quarter of the same section are the Bensene 
Mounds, both small. 

On the bank of the Fox River, near the City of Burlington, 
was found by Dr. Lapham a series of mounds in irregular forma- 
tion, the largest of which was ten feet high and fifty feet in diam- 
eter, connected with the adjoining mound by an embankment. 
West of Burlington can be seen the remains of an oval enclosure 
around which large numbers of arrow points, stone axes and other 
relics have been gathered by collectors. At the junction of the 
Fox and White Rivers are three mounds from four to six rods 
apart, fonning a triangle. The largest is six feet high and twenty 
feet in diameter, and the two smaller ones are each about three 
feet high and fifteen feet in diameter. In these mounds were 
found several implements of obsidian — a material not to be found 
in Wisconsin, the nearest deposits being over one thousand miles 

One of the finest collections of Mound Builders' relics knoAvn 
was that of Frederick S. Perkins, of Burlington. Part of this 
collection was sent to the National Museum, part of it to the 
Wisconsin State Historical Society, and is now on exhibition in 
the Historical Library IMuseum at Madison, and some of it was 
left at Racine. Dr. P. R. Hoy also had a fine collection of arrow 
points, flint knives, stone axes, celts, etc., gathered at various, 
points in Racine County. 



When the first white iiien came to this country from Europe, 
they found the continent of North America peopled by a race of 
copper colored individuals unlike any they had ever seen before. 
Believing that Columbus had circmnnavigated the earth and that 
the country was India, they gave these people the name of In- 
dians. Subsequent explorations corrected the error in geography, 
but the name given to the natives still remains. This race was 
divided into several groups or families, each of which was distin- 
guished by certain physical and linguistic characteristics. In the 
extreme northern part of the continent were the Eskimo, a tribe 
that has never played any consj)icuous part in history, except to 
serve as guides to explorers in the Arctic regions. 

The great Algonquian family inhalnted a large triangle, 
roughly bounded by the Atlantic coast line from Labrador to Cape 
Hatteras, and lines from those two points to the western end of 
Lake Superior. Within this triangle lay the present State of 
Wisconsin. In the heart of the Algonquian country, along the 
shcu'es of Lake Ontario, were the Iroquoian tribes — the Cayugas, 
Oneidas, Onondagas, Mohawks and Senecas — which formed the 
confederacy known as the "Five Nations." Later the Tuscarora 
tribe was admitted to the confederacy, when it became known as 
the "Six Nations." 

South of the Algonquian comitry, in the southeastei'n part of 
the United States, lay the territory occupied by the Muskhogean 
group, the principal tribes of which were the Cherokee, Choctaw, 
Creek and Chickasaw. To the northwest, about the sources of the 
Mississippi TJiver, were the fearless, hardy, warlike Siouan tribes, 
of which there were quite a number, while the comitry farther 
west was inhabited by the fierce Apache, Ai-apaho, Cheyenne, 
Comanche and kindred tribes, closely allied to the Sionan group 
in appearance, habits and dialect. In the far Southwest Avere a 
number of tribes living in pueblos and differing in many respects 
from any of the others. The principal trilx'S inhabiting the terri- 
tory now compi-ising the State of Wisconsin were the Chippewa 
(or Ojihw.i), Menominee, Sac, Fox, Ottawa, Potawatomi and 



A tribal tradition says the Chippewa originally dwelt along 
the shores of l^ake Huron, their country extending northwestward 


to Lake Superior, and that they were part of a great Alg-onquian 
tribe which included the Ottawa and Potawatonii. When the 
white men first came in contact with those tribes they were living 
in a sort of loose confederacy known as the "Three Fires." The 
word Ojibwa, the Indian name of the tribe, means "to roast till 
puckered up," and was given to these Indians on account of their 
way of making moccasins with a seam that puckered the leather. 
The tribe was divided into five phratries, or brotherhoods, and 
these were divided into twenty-three gentes, or clans, the most 
imj^ortant of which were the Turtle, Bear, Beaver, Loon, Catfish, 
Swan and Snake. In early days they were engaged in a war with 
the Sioux for several years over their hunting grounds in North- 
ern Wisconsin, Init they persistently maintained their ground and 
continued to occupy the country until after the United States 
Government extended its jurisdiction over it, when hy successive 
treaties their right to the region was recognized. In course of 
time they ceded their lands to the United States and accepted 
resei'vations in some of the northern counties of the state. 


This trilic^ was one of the Algonquian group, though the dia- 
lect differed greatly from that of the other tribes, having peculiar 
guttural sounds, accents and inflections, so that for a long time 
they were supposed to have a distinct language. The Menominee 
wci'c known as "wild rice men," the wild rice that grew along the 
streams forming a large part of their food. The harvest time for 
this rice was in the month of September. The harvesters paddled 
tiieir canoes along the streams and shook or beat the grain into 
a bark receptacle. To clear the rice of chaff it was put to dry 
upon a sort of lattice work al)ove a small fire, where it was kejDt 
for several days. Wlien it was thoroughly dry, it was placed in 
a leather bag and tramped until the chaff was freed from the 
grain, when it was easily winnowed. The rice was then pounded 
into meal and made into a kind of bread, or it was boiled in water 
and seasoned with grease. They were also skillful fishermen and 
hunters. The French called them Folles Avoines. 

One of their traditions points to an emigration from the East 
at some remote period in the past, but their first habitat known to 
white men was on the Bay de Noque and along the IMenominee 
River. Those living on the bay were called by the French the 


Noquet Indians. According to the Jesuit Relations, the tribe was 
first visited by Mcolet in 1634, when he found the main bod) 
living near the mouth of the Menominee River. He sent some 
young Winnebago Indians in advance to notify them of his com- 
ing, and on his arrival he wore "a robe of Chinese damask and 
carried thunder in his hands." The thunder was a pair of pistols 
and when they were discharged the women and children fled in 
terror. At one of their feasts mentioned by Nicolet over four 
thousand peoj^le were present and 120 beavers were eaten. The 
Relations of 1671 tell of the Menominee having been driven from 
their country, "the lands of the south next to Michilimackinac," 
when they went to the country about the shores of Green Bay. 
This statement is no doubt based upon the report of Father Claude 
Allouez, a Jesuit missionary, who visited the tribe in May, 1670, 
and found it a "feeble one, almost exterminated by war." Allouez 
remained with them but a short time and was succeeded by Father 
Louis Andre, who built a cabin on the Menominee River and took 
up his residence. His work was evidently fruitful, for when 
Father Marquette visited the tribe in 1673 he "found many good 
Christians among them." 

The principal gentes of the tribe were those that liore the 
totems of the Bear, Eagle, Crane, Wolf and Moose. When the 
French post, at what is now the City of Green Bay, was surren- 
dered to the British in the fall of 1761, the Menominee claimed the 
land upon which the fort stood and for a time it looked as though 
they were going to make trouble for the English. But when they 
found out that they could purchase supplies from them at nuich 
lower prices than they had been accustomed to pay the French, 
they became reconciled and remained friends of the British, fight- 
ing with them against the American colonists in the Revolution- 
ary war. They also fought against the United States in the War 
of 1812. In July, 1816, a force of United States troops arrived 
at Green Bay to take possession of the country and the connnander 
asked the head chief of the tribe for permission to build a fort. 
To this request the chief replied as follows: 

"My brother, how can we oppose your locating a council fire 
among usi Even if we wanted to oppose you we have scarcely 
got powder and l)all to make the attempt. One favor we ask is 
that our French Ijrothers shall not be disturbed. You can choose 
any place you please for your fort and we shall not object." 


The commander was diplomatic enough to make a reply that 
won the confidence of the chief and the friendship thus commenced 
was ureatly strengthened l)y the treaty of peace concluded on 
^larcli 3U, 1817, in which the Government recognized the JVIenom- 
inee title to the lands occupied by them and established boundaries 
between them and the adjacent tribes. The friendship was still 
further strengthened when the British failed to make their annual 
contribution of cloth, copper kettles, utensils, etc. After that the 
Menominee were known as "American" Indians instead of "Brit- 
ish" Indians. As late as 1831 this tribe claimed "all the land from 
the mouth of the Milwaukee River to the mouth of the Green Bay, 
and on the west side of Green Bay from the height of land between 
it and Lake Superior, to the headwaters of the Fox and Menom- 
inee Rivers." Although they made no claim to the lands south of 
the Milwaukee River, there is abundant evidence that the Menom- 
inee hunted there at times and there is no question that they fre- 
quently visited the country now included in Racine County. 


These Indians, also called the Sauk or Saukies, were known 
as "the people of the outlet," or "people of the yellow earth." 
They belonged to the Algonquian family and according to their 
traditions were once a very powerful people. They are first men- 
tioned in history by Father Claude Allouez, who found them in 
the lower peninsula of Michigan in 1665. Two years later he 
wrote: "They are more savage than any other people I have met, 
great in numbers, and appear to have no permanent dwelling 
place." In December, 1669, the same missionary visited a Sac 
\illage upon the shores of Green Bay, and the following year 
found some of them upon the Fox River of Green Bay, "four 
leagues from its mouth." From their traditions it is believed that 
they once lived east of Detroit, perhaps as far east as the shores 
of Lake Ontario, but were driven out of that country by the pow- 
erful Iroquois and finally drifted westward to what is now the 
State of Wisconsin. 

The Sac tribe was divided into fourteen gentes, viz.: Trout, 
Sturgeon, Bass, Great Lynx, Sea, Fox, Wolf, Bear, Potato, Elk, 
Swan, Grouse, Eagle and Thunder. Marriages between men and 
women of the same gens, while not positively prohibited, were 
extremely rare. They had numerous feasts and ceremonies, the 


most important of which was probably the initiation into the 
"Grand Medicine Society" — a ceremony that is said to have 
l)('en a severe test of the courage and fortitnde of the candidate 
who underwent the ordeal. After locating- in Wisconsin they 
gained something of their former j)restige and again became a 
powerful tribe, especially after their alliance with the Fox 


Evidence, traditionary and otherwise, shows that the Fox 
Indians, in the early part of the Seventeenth (Jentury, lived on 
the Atlantic coast, in the vicinity of Rhode Island. They were 
an Algonquian tribe, the Indian name of Avhich was Mesh-kwa- 
ke-hug, which was corrupted into Musquakies, and after their 
migration westward they became known as the Outagamie. The 
name Fox originated with the French, who called these Indians 
Reynors. They called themselves "people of the red earth." Of 
all the North American Indians the Fox was the only tribe that 
had a coat of arms. It consisted of "an oblique line, representing 
a river, with a fox at each end on opposite sides." It was a sym- 
bol of victory and after a successful raid was painted on rocks 
or carved in the bark of trees as a warning to their enemies. Their 
gentes were the Fox, Wolf, Elk, Big Lynx, Buffalo. Swan, Pheas- 
ant, Potato, Eagle, Sea, Sturgeon, Bass and Thunder. 

Driven westward by the warlike Iroquois and their allies, the 
Fox came to Wisconsin and first settled upon the shores of Green 
Bay, where Nicolet found some of tliem in 1634. Theii' presence 
there was not agreeable to the Menominee and they moved on to 
the Fox River. In the spring of 1670 Father Allouez visited their 
villages there and on the Wolf Ixivei-, a northern tributary of the 
Fox. Concerning these Indians he wi-ote: "The nation is re- 
nowned for being numerous, having moi'e than four hundred men 
bearing arms. The number of women and children is greater, on 
account of polygamy which exists auKmg them — each man hav- 
ing connnonly four wives, some of them six, and others as high 
as ten." 

Ill 1712 a large number of the Fox warriors took part in the 
attack on the French i)ost at Detroit, but were defeated with 
heavy loss. The remnant of the war party returned to the Fox 
River and a few years later the Dutch and English traders oper- 
ating in Wisconsin and Noi^thern Michigan formed an alliance 


with them for the purpose of driving out the French. As a 
defensive measure the French traders enlisted the aid of the 
Ottawa. Potawatomi, Huron and some minor tribes. Again the 
T-'oxes were defeated and sought a refuge among the Sacs. A 
French officer named De Villiers, with a force of French soldiers 
and Indian allies, marched to the Sac village and demanded the 
surrender of the refugees. The demand was refused and a battle 
ensued which lasted for several hours, the Indians finally being 
defeated, but the refugees were not surrendered. The Sac and 
Fox then formed an alliance and from that time they have been 
regarded as one tribe, though their alliance was more in the 
nature of a confederacy, each tribe maintaining its identity, even 
when one chief ruled over both. Two of the greatest chiefs in 
the history of the North American Indians belonged to these 
allied tribes. They were Black Hawk and Keokuk, both bora of 
Sac parents yet acknowledged chiefs by the Foxes. During the 
war of the Revolution the Sacs and Foxes were friendly to the 
British. In 1804 they ceded to the United States the last of their 
lands in Wisconsin, though they afterward wielded considerable 
influence upon the history of the state. 


The Ottawa belonged to the Algonquian family and according 
to their ti'aditions were originally four or five separate tribes, 
which became united for purposes of defense against their ene- 
mies. They were known among the other tribes as "the traders," 
because they were always ready to barter anything they possessed 
for something that they wanted. In 1615 Champlain met with 
this tribe on the shores of the Georgian Bay, where they w^ere 
drying huckleberries for their winter food. This is the fii'st men- 
tion of them in the white man's history. Father Claude Dablon, 
writing of these Indians in 1670, said: "We call these people 
the Upper Algonkin, to distinguish them from the Lower Algon- 
kin, who are loAver down, in the vicinity of Tadoussac and Quebec. 
People commonly give them the name Ottawa, because, of more 
than thirty diiferent tribes which are foTmd in these countries, 
the first that descended to the French settlements were the 
Ottawa, whose name remained afterward attached to all the 

From the time this was written until about the beginning of 


the Eighteenth Century, the Ottawa lived with the Huron Indians 
about Detroit. The.y then moved up to Saginaw, where they 
formed an alliance with the Potawatomi and gradually moved 
westward until they reached the western shore of Lake Michigan. 
In the French and Indian war the Ottawa, Potawatomi and Me- 
nominee all fought on the side of the French and rendered con- 
spicuous service in the battle of the Monongahela, in which the 
British General Braddock was so ingloriously defeated. After 
the treaty of 1763, which concluded that war, the French troops 
moved f»ut of the country about the Great Lakes and the British 
came in. This increased the dissatisfaction of the Indians and the 
Ottawa chief, Pontiac, planned the general uprising against the 
British posts. Certain chiefs of the Ottawa, Chippewa and Pota- 
watomi were to collect their warriors where the City of Milwau- 
kee now stands and lead them against the whites. But the 
Menominee refused to enter into the conspiracy and their chief 
warned the British, for which service he was awarded a medal. 
Some of the Ottawa and Potawatomi warriors living in what is 
now Pacine Coimty were enlisted in this movement. 


The name of this once powerfid Algonquian tribe is spelled 
in vai'ious ways, but the form adopted in this work is that used 
by the United States J^ureau of Ethnolog}\ They were known 
as "the people of the place of fire," or the "Nation of Fire." 
Their traditions claim that the Potawatomi, Ottawa and Chippewa 
were originall_y one people, living north of the Great Lakes; that 
they separated at Mackinaw, though they remained friendly to 
each other and afterward formed a sort of loose confederacy for 
their mutual protection against their enemies. As early as 1667 
Fatlici' Allouez found some three hundred of them at Chaquame- 
goii Bay, and three years later he encountered another band ab(mt 
the mouth of the (Jreen Bay. After the Revolutionary war some 
of them moved down into the Miami country and established sev- 
eral villages along the Wabash River, in what is now the State 
of Indiana. 

i\Ir)i'gan, of the Bureau of Ethnology, divides the tribe into 
the following gentes: Wolf, Bear, Beaver, Elk,i Loon, Eagle, 
Sturgeon, Carp, Bald Eagle, Thunder, Rabbit, Crow, Fox, Turkey 
and Blackhawk. 


During the Revolution the Potawatomi fought on the side 
of the British. Their chiefs signed the treaty of peace concluded 
at Greenville, Ohio, on August 3, 1795, but they afterward violated 
the treaty ajid fought against the United States in the War of 
]812. A portion of this tribe once inhabited the region now in- 
cluded in Racine County. 


The Winnebago belonged to the Siouan family and was inti- 
mately related to the Iowa, Otoe and Missouri tribes. When 
Nicolet visited the country about the Green Bay in 1634, he 
found some of them along the shores, where they informed him 
they had always dwelt. Although a Siouan tribe, the Winnebago 
generally kept on friendly terms with the neighboring Algonquian 
nations and on several occasions formed alliances with them for 
offensive or defensive operations against their common enemies. 
The name "Winnebago" first appears in the Jesuit Relations for 
the year 1640, where they are referred to as a tribe calling them- 
selves "the people of the parent speech." At that time the main 
body of the tribe was living about the Green Bay. From there 
they removed northwai'd to the shores of Lake Superior, but 
returned to their old habitat on the shores of the Green Bay about 
the middle of the century. Jonathan Carver, in 1778, foiuid a 
large body of them dwelling along the west side of Lake Winne- 
bago, where ten years later one of their principal villages was 
located. From Lake Winnebago they moved southwest to the 
.Mississi])pi River and formed a friendly alliance with the Sacs 
and Foxes. 

Dorsey says the tribe was divided into two phratries — one 
known as the "Upper Air," and the other as "The Eai-th." The 
former was divided into four gentes called Thunderbird, War 
People, Eagle and Pigeon, and the latter into the gentes of the 
Bear, Wolf, Water-Spirit, Deer, Elk, Fish and Snake. Men of 
the upper air phratry generally married women of the earth 
phratry, and vice versa. There was no tribal law or established 
rule to that effect, but it was the prevailing custom. Their prin- 
cipal ceremonials were the Medicine Dance, which was celebrated 
in the sinnmcr, and the Big Feast in winter. 

Although the Sac, Fox and Wiimebago tribes never inhabited 
that i)art of the state in which Racine County is situated, their 


history has ])(H'ii ,<>iveii because they played a conspicuous part 
in the events which k'd to tlie negotiation of the treaties by which 
the Indian titk' to the hinds in that region was extinguished and 
the country turned over to tlie white men. During the Black 
Hawk war of 1832, the last battle of which was fought upon 
Wisconsin soil, the Winnebago secretly aided the war party of 
the Sacs and Foxes led by Chief Black Hawk. After the war the 
United States forced the Winnebago to cede all the lands claimed 
by them on the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers and remove to the tract 
known as the "Neutral Groixnd," in what is now the State of Iowa. 
The remnant of this great tribe is now living on a reservation in 
Eastern Nebraska. 


During the colonial period numerous treaties were made with 
the Indians by the French and Bi-itish authorities, but they Avere 
merely treaties of friendship or alliance. The English claimed 
the land by "right of discovery" and did not recognize the neces- 
city of purchasing it from the occupants. The French were inter- 
ested chiefly in the fur trade and cared nothing for the land. It 
therefore remained for the United States to inaugurate the sys- 
tem of treaties by which the Indians gave up their lands and 
ren K ivcd t( » another part of the country. Article IX of the Articles 
of Confederation provided: "The United States, in Congress 
assembled, have tlic sole and exclusive right and power of regu- 
lating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians not 
members of any of the states; provided, that the legislative right 
of any state, within its own limits, be not infringed or violated." 

The Federal Constitution, which superseded the Articles of 
Confederation, conferred on Congress the same power, and on 
March 1, 1793, President Washington approved "An act to regu- 
late ti-ade and intercom-se with the Indian tribes." Section 8 
of this act provided: 

"That no })urchase or grant of lands, or any title or claim 
thereto, from any Indians or nation or tribe of Indians, within 
the bounds of the United States, shall be of any validity, in law 
or equity, unless the same l)e made by a treaty oi- convention 
entered into ])ursuant to the constitution." 

On the last day of April, 1803, Robert R. Livingston and 
James Monroe, ambassadors of the United States, concluded the 
Treaty of Paris, 1)y which th(> French Province of Louisiana be- 


came the pr()])L'rty of tlie United States. Article VI of that treaty 
pledged the Federal Government "to execute such treaties and 
articles as may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes 
and nations of Indians, until, by mutual consent of the United 
States and the said tribes or nations, other suitable articles shall 
have been agreed upon." 

By an act of Congress, approved by President Jefferson on 
March 26, 1804, Louisiana was divided into two territories. Sec- 
tion 15 of that act reads as follows: "The President of the United 
States is here))y authorized to stipulate with any Indian tribes 
owning lands on the east side of the Mississippi Kiver and resid- 
ing thereon, foi' an exchange of lands, the property of the United 
States, on the west side of the Mississii)pi, in case the said tribe 
shall remove and settle thereon, but in such stipidation, the said 
tribes shall acknowledge themselves to be under the protection 
of the United States, and shall agree that they will not hold any 
treaty with any foreign power, individual state, or with the indi- 
viduals of any state or power." 

This law took effect on October 1, 1804, and under it and 
subsequent supplementary acts all the treaties of cession aff(!ct- 
ing the Indian title to lands east of the Mississippi have been 
negotiated. The first cession of lands within the present State 
of Wisconsin was made by the ChippcAva, Ottawa and Potawatomi 
Indians in a treaty made at Prairie du Chien on July 29, 1829, 
when those tribes relinquished all their claims to a tract in the 
southwest comer of the state, extending back from the ^Mississippi 
River thirty miles. Prairie du Cliien is in the northwest corner 
of this cession. 

Two days later, at the same place, the Winne])ago ceded a 
tract inunediately east of the above. Of this tract the Wisconsin 
River formed the northern boundary. The eastern boundary was 
described as a line from the portage between the Fox and Wis- 
consin Rivers to the headwatei-s of Sugai- (^reek and down that 
stream to the Illinois line. 

Mention has been made oi' tli<' treaty foi-ced upon the Win- 
nebago at the close of the Black I lawk war. 'i'liat treaty was 
concluded at l^'ort Armstrong (Rock Island), Illinois, September 
1"), 18.32, when the tribe ceded all lands claimed by it within the 
following boundaries: "Beginning at the mouth of the Pee-kee- 
tol-a-ka River; thence up Rock River to its source; thence with 


a line dividing the Winnebago Nation from other Indians east of 
the Winnebago Lake to the Grand Chute; thence up the Fox 
River to the Winnebago Lake and with the northwestern shore 
of said lake to the inlet of the Fox River; thence up said river 
to Lake Puck-a-way and with the eastern shore of the same to 
the most southeasterly bend; thence wath the line of a purchase 
made of the Winnebago Nation by the treaty at Prairie du Chien 
(»n August 1, 1829, to the place of beginning." 

The eastern boundary of this cession passes through or near 
the present cities of Janesville, Jefferson, Juneau, Fond du Lac 
and Oshkosh. From Winnebago Lake the boundary is a devious 
line to near Portage and the western boiuidary runs west of the 
City of Madison. By the negotiation of this treaty the southeast- 
ern part of the state was left in the hands of the Lidians and 
steps were soon afterward taken to extinguish their title. The 
chiefs of the Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi confederacy, 
which claimed the lands in question, were invited to Chicago, 
where a treaty was concluded on September 26, 1833, by which 
those tribes ceded to the United States "all their land along the 
western shore of Lake Michigan and between this lake and the 
land ceded to the United States by the Winnebago Nation at the 
treaty of Fort Armstrong, made on September 15, 1832; 1)ounded 
on the north by the country lately coded by the Menominee tribe 
of Indians, and on the south by the country ceded at the treaty 
of Prairie du Chien, made on July 29, 1829, supposed to contain 
about five million acres." 

In return for these lands the confederated tribes were to 
receive a reservation of equal extent west of the IMississijipi River, 
but were given permission to retain possession of their old hunt- 
ing grounds for three years, or until they were needed for white 
occupation. They requested the Government to place them where 
they could be together, as they had been in the i)ast, but the 
request was not granted, the Ottawa and Potawatomi being given 
reservations in Kansas and the (liippewa in Northern Minnesota. 
The tract ceded extended from the Illinois line to the Milwaukee 
River, and from Lake Michigan to the boundary of the Winnebago 
cession of the preceding year. It included the present Counties 
of Kenosha, Racine and Walwoi'th, and parts of Milwaukee, Wau- 
kesha, Rock and Jefferson. 



Within the limits of Racine County there were at least five 
well defined Indian trails when the first settlers came to this part 
of Wisconsin. The most important was doubtless the one leading 
from riiicago to the Milwaukee Rivei'. This trail passed up the 
west bank of the Desplaines Kiver and the west bank of the South 
Fork of the Root River, through Kenosha County and the present 
Towns of Yorkville and Raymond, in Racine County. It was 
used by both the Indians and the white traders and early settlers. 

Another trail ran from the lake shore near the present City 
of Racine, via Skunk Grove, in Mount Pleasant Township, to 
Waukesha Springs. It crossed the Root River near the old Vil- 
lage of Thompsonville, not far from where Claque's bridge was 
afterward built, through the present Town of Norway, and crossed 
the western boundary of Racine Count_y near the northwest 

A third trail ran from about where the City of Racine now 
stands to the Fox River and from there to the Rock River. It 
passed near the present Village of Rochester and followed closely 
the line upon which the Racine and JanesAdlle plank road was 
afterward built. 

The fourth trail started at the Fox River near Burlington and 
ran northward, via Rochester and Watei-ford, to Big Bend, in 
what is now Waukesha Comity. A branch left this trail near 
the Village of Rochester, passed by Indian Hill and along the 
west shore of Wind Lake to the mouth of the Milwaukee River. 

The fifth trail might be considered a "main traveled road," 
as it connected the Indians of Green Bay with those living near 
the head of Lake Michigan, following the shore of Lake Michigan. 
The Chicago & Ncjrthwestern Railroad follo\^•s the line of this 
trail from Chicago to Milwaukee. In some places traces of these 
old trails may still be seen. 

With the conclusion of the treaty of 1833, what is now South- 
eastern Wisconsin became the domain of the white man. The 
lands once used as hunting gro.unds by the Ottawa and Potawat- 
omi are now cultivated fields. The whistle of the locomotive has 
supplanted the war-whoop of the painted savage, and the Indian 
trail has become an improved highway. Great steamers pass 
back and forth iipon the waters of Lake Michigan, where once 
the Indian paddled his bark canoe. The howl of the wolf has 


given way to the lowing of kiue and the hum of peaceful industry. 
The primeval forest has disappeared and the giant trees have 
been manufactured into lumber to build homes for civilized man, 
or into furnitiu'c for his comfort. Where once stood the totem 
pole the ehiu'ch spire now points toward the skies; the school 
house, has taken the place of the tepee; halls of legislation have 
superseded the ti'ibal council, and in the place of the Indian vil- 
lages have been built cities with paved streets, electric lights, 
public libraries, street railways, and all the evidences of modern 
progress. And all this has been accomplished within a period 
of four score and two years. To tell the story of this progress 
is the province of the sul)sequent chapters of this history. 



Tlio people of Raciiie County today enjoy all the comforts 
and many of the hixuries of modern civilization and development. 
Surrounded by all these evidences of progress, do they pause to 
consider the lony', tedious process of evohition l)y which they were 
obtained '? The old sayinu; "Rome was not built in a day," applies 
with equal a]ipi'(>])riateness to every city, every i^olitical division 
or subdivision, in the civilized countries of the world. Long before 
Racine County was ever dreamed of, the discovery of America 
by Christopher Columbus formed the first link in a chain of events 
that led to the establishment of the Republic of the Utiited States . 
and the division of the central part of North America into states 
and counties. It is, therefore, deemed advisable to give a brief 
account of these events, in order that the reader may form some 
idea of the maiinci- in which the State of Wisconsin and Racine 
County came into being. 

In 1498, the year after Columbus made his first voyage to 
America, the Pope granted to the King and Queen of Spain "all 
countries inhabited by infidels." At that time the extent of the 
continent of North America was unknown to Europeans, but the 
inhabitants were regarded as "infidels," and in a vague way this 
papal grant included the present State of Wisconsin. 

It was not long until other European nations began to con- 
test with Spain the ownership and possession of the newly dis- 
covered continent. Hemy VII of England, in 1496, granted to 
John Cabot, an Italian, and his two sons authority to fit out an 
expedition at their own expense "to search for islands or regions 
inhabited by infidels and hitherto unknown to Christendom; to 
take possession in the name of the King of England; to enjoy for 


themselves, their heirs and assigns, forever, the sole right of 
trading- thither; and to pay to the King of England one-fifth of 
all the profits of such trade." 

On the 24th of June, 1497, the Cabots sighted the Atlantic 
coast near the southeastornmost point of Labrador, and were the 
first to discover the mainland of the continent. During the next 
two years they explored the coast as far south as Cape Hatteras 
and made discoveries upon which England, at the close of the 
Fifteenth Century, claimed all the central portion of North 

Farther northward the French, through the discoveries of 
Jacques Cartier in 1534-35, laid claim to the Valley of the St. 
Lawrence River and the region about the Great Lakes, from 
which they subsequently pushed their explorations westward 
toward the headwaters of the Mississippi River and southward 
into the Valley of the Ohio. 

No settlements were founded by any of these nations for 
many years. Spain undertook to strengthen her claims, under 
the grant of the Po])e, by sending Ilornando do Soto into the 
interior to ascertain and report the character of the country. He 
left Havana in May, 1539, and arrived at Tampa Bay a few days 
later. From that point he marched north, then west, and, after 
fighting several engagements with hostile tribes of Indians, dis- 
covered the Mississippi River, not far from the present City of 
Memphis, Tennessee. Moving westward, he reached the vicinity 
of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and followed the course of the Arkan- 
sas River down to the Mississippi, where he died and was buried 
in the great stream he had discovered. The remnant of his band 
finally reached the coast and ultimately retvu'ned to the Island 
of Cuba. About 1565 a small Spanish colony was planted at 
St. Aiigustine, Florida. 

In 1604 Samuel Champlain assisted in bringing out a munber 
of cohmists from France and tried to estal)lish a settlement on 
Dochet Island. After many hardships they moved to Nova Scotia 
and settled w here Anna]iolis now stands, but their settlement was 
broken up by the British in 1G13. The oldest permanent settle- 
ment in Canada is Quebec, which was founded by Champlain 
in 1608. 

Early in the Seventeenth Century, two companies known as 
the London and Plymouth Companies were chartered by the Eng- 


lish crown and authorized to establish settlements in America. 
The former planted the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, 
the year before Quebec w^as founded by Champlain, and the latter 
was expected to occupy the country farther to the north. When 
the London Company was granted a specific tract of land by a 
new charter, dated May 23, 1609, the Plymouth Company asked 
for a similar charter and received what is known as the "Great 
Patent," granting to that company "the whole of North America 
from the fortieth to the forty-eighth degrees of north latitude, 
excepting, however, all places possessed 1)y any other Christian 
prince or people." This "Great Patent" included all the present 
State of Wisconsin, though no attempt was made to establish 
settlements in the region by its possessors. 


As early as 1611 Jesuit missionaries from Quebec and the 
other French settlements in Canada were among the Indian tribes 
along the shores of the Great Lakes, but it was not until 1634 
that the first white man set foot upon any portion of the territory 
now comjirising the State of Wisconsin. In that year Jean Nic- 
olet, who had been in Canada for some sixteen years, was sent 
as a delegate to the Winnebago Indians, who were then at war 
with the ITurons, to negotiate a peace between the tribes, a mis- 
sion in which he was successful. One account of Nicolet says he 
passed up the Green Bay and the Fox River, crossed the portage 
and descended the Wisconsin River, "until within three days of 
the Mississippi." 

Nearly a quarter of a century passed after Nicolet's visit 
Ijefore the next white men came to Wisconsin. In the fall of 
1658 two fur traders penetrated to the southern shore of Lake 
Superior, where they spent the winter, trapping and trading with 
the natives. They remained in the country until the summer of 
1660, when they returned to Quebec with sixty canoes laden with 
furs and accompanied by about three hundred Indians. This 
was the beginning of the great fur trade of the Northwest, though 
it was several years later before any further explorations were 
made in that direction. 

In 1665 Father Claude Alhniez, one of the most zealous of 
the Jesuit missionaries, went among the tribes of Northern Wis- 
consin and established a mission. He erected a small chapel — 


the first strueturc of any kind ever l)uilt by civilized man in 
Wisconsin. On Oct()l)er 1, 1665, he held a council with repre- 
sentatives of the leading Indian tribes of the Northwest at the 
Chippewa village, near where the City of Ashland now stands. 
At this council were chiefs of the Chippewa, Sioux, Sac, Fox, 
Potawatonii, Ottawa and Illini. Allouez promised the Indians 
the protection of the great French father and thus opened the 
way for a profitable trade. At the council some of the Sioux and 
Illini chiefs told the missionary of a great river farther to the 
westward, "called by them the Me-sa-sip-pi, which they said no 
white man had yet seen (they knew nothing of De Soto's expe- 
dition), and along which fur-bearing animals abounded." 

At La Pointe, in what is now Ashland County, Wisconsin. 
Allouez established the mission of the Holy Ghost, and in 1668 
he and another missionary, Father Claude Dablon, founded the 
mission of St. Mary, the oldest white settlement within the present 
State of Michigan. The reports carried back to Quebec by Nicolet 
and the missionaries led the French authorities in Canada to send 
Nicholas Perrot as the acci-edited agent of the Government to 
arrange for a grand council with the Indians. The council was 
held at St. Mary's in May, 1671, and before the close of that year 
Father .lac(|ues Marquette, another Jesuit missionary, foinided 
the mission among the Huron Indians at Point St. Ignace. For 
many years this mission was regarded as the key to the great 
unexplored West. 


Father Marquette was born at Laon, France, in 1637, and at 
the age of seventeen years entered the Jesuit Order. In 1666 
he was sent as a missionary to Canada and two years later estab- 
lished the mission at Sault Ste. Marie. Soon after coming among 
the Indians about the Great Lakes, he heard of the great river 
and was filled with a desire to discover it, but was deterred from 
doing so until after Perrot 's council, which resulted in establish- 
ing friendly relations between the French and Indians. In the 
spring of 1673 he received autlioi'ity fr()m the Canadian officials 
to make the attempt, and Tjouis Joliet was a])pointed by the 
French governor to accom])any him. 

.loliet was born at Quebec in 1645 and was educated for the 
priesthood, I)ut became a fur trader. He joined Marquette at 


Micliilimackinac, where they began making preparations for their 
voyage. It is said that friendly Indians there tried to dissuade 
them from the inidertaking by telling them that the Indians along 
the great river were vindictive and cruel, and that the river itself 
was the abode of mighty monsters that could easily swallow both 
canoes and men. If these stories had any effect upon the two 
intrepid Frenchmen it was only to make them more detennined, 
and on ]\Iay 1.3, 167.3, accompanied by five voyageurs, or boatmen, 
in two large canoes, they left Michilimackinac. Passing up the 
Green Bay to the mouth of the Fox Eiver, they ascended that 
stream to the portage, crossed over to the Wisconsin River, floated 
down that stream and on June 17, 1673, drifted out upon the 
lu'oad bosom of the ^Mississippi — the first white men ever to cross 
the State of Wisconsin. 

Turning their canoes southward, they descended the Missis- 
sippi, carefully noting the landmarks as they passed along, until 
they reached the mouth of the Arkansas River. Here they met 
with some Indians whose language they could not understand, 
and, knowing that they were approaching the territory claimed 
by the Spaniards, they decided to return to Canada. Upon arriv- 
ing at the mouth of the Illinois River on the return voyage, they 
passed up that stream, crossed the portage, and reached Lake 
Michigan near the present City of Chicago. Following the west 
shore of the lake, they arrived at an Indian village on the shore 
of Grreen Bay late in September, having traveled over two thou- 
sand five hundi-ed miles in their frail canoes. On their voyage 
down the lake shore they passed near the present City of Racine, 
and who knows but they may have landed somewhere in what 
is now Racine County? Father Marquette remained at Green 
Bay, while Joliet went on to Quebec to make a report of their 
discoveries to the authorities. 

In 1674 Father Marquette again passed up the west shore of 
Lake Michigan — this time with ten canoes — for the purpose of 
founding a mission among the Illinois Indians. The following 
year he. started to return to his mission at Point St. Ignace, but 
fell ill and died before reaching Michilimackinac. 


Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, was bom in France 
in 1643. the son of a wealthv merchant of Rouen, but bv becoming 


a Jesuit novice he forfeited the right to inherit his father's for- 
tune. In 1667 he came to Canada and was granted a large tract 
of land on the St. Lawrence River, about eight or nine miles above 
Montreal. From stories told by the Indians he learned of the 
Ohio River and in 1669 descended that river to about where the 
City of Louisville now stands. Two years later, acting under 
authority of the French Canadian officials, he led an expedition 
to discover the Mississippi, but it ended in failure. He then went 
to France and in 1678 Louis XIV, then King of France, gave him 
a patent "to explore the western part of New France." Accom- 
panied by Henri de Tonti and twenty men, he passed up the east 
shore of Lake Michigan in 1679, built Fort Miami at the mouth 
of the St. Joseph River, ascended the St. Joseph as far as he 
could, crossed over to the Kankakee and went down that river 
to the Illinois. Near the present City of Peoria, Illinois, he built 
a fort (Fort Creveeoeur), where he left Tonti and a few men and 
returned to Canada. On his return voyage he passed down the 
west shore of the lake and doubtless saw the country now included 
in Racine County, though there is no account of a landing in 
Wisconsin. One of the twenty men with La Salle on this voyage 
of exploration was the friar, Louis Hennepin, who ascended the 
Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois to St. Anthony's Falls, 
and was no doubt the first white man to explore the western shore 
of Wisconsin. On his return he passed up the Wisconsin River 
and down the Fox, fianlly arriving at Green Bay. 

In May, 1681, La Salle and Tonti met at Michilimackinac for 
another voyage to the Mississippi. This time La Salle's efforts 
were crowned with success. On February 6, 1682, the expedition 
reached the mouth of the Illinois and began the descent of the 
great river. On the 6th of Apiil it arrived at the head of the 
delta, where the river divided into three branches. Dividing his 
men into three parties. La Salle sent one down each of the arms 
of the river and all reached the Gulf. They then returned to the 
head of the delta, where La Salle, on April 9, 1682, took formal 
possession of "all the territory drained by the Mississippi and 
its tributaries" in the name of France, giving the country the 
name of Louisiana, in honor of the French king. Under this claim 
all that part of Wisconsin drained by tributaries of the great 
Father of Waters became a French possession. 



France, through an agent, Daumont de St. Lusson, had taken 
fdniial possession of the country about the upper Great Lakes in 
1671. After the discovery of the mouth of the ^lississippi by 
La Salle, de St. Lusson 's claim was considered somewhat indefi- 
nite, and in the spring of 1689 Nicholas Perrot, acting under 
authority of the Canadian governor, was sent to the Upper Mis- 
sissippi Valley to lay clain) to that part of the great valley. On 
April 8, 1689, he reported that he had followed instructions and 
had built a fort and trading post on a river, to which he gave the 
name of St. Nicholas. To extend the dominion of New France 
"over places more remote," Jean Francois de St. Cosme was sent 
up the west shore of Lake ^Michigan in 1699, and a year later 
Le Sueur yjassed up the Mississippi seeking some lead mines, 
which Indian traditions said existed somewhere along the river, 
but it was not until many years later that the mines were discov- 
ered by white men. Thus matters stood at the close of the Sev- 
enteenth Century. 


During the Seventeenth Century the frontier of civilization 
was pushed gradually westward. The Hudson's Bay Company, 
which Avas chartered by the English Government on May 2, 1670, 
sent its trappers, traders and agents into all parts of the coun- 
try about the Great Lakes, in spite of the French claim to the 
territory. In 1712 the French Goverimiont granted to Antoine 
Crozat, a wealthy merchant of Paris, a charter giving him ex- 
clusive control of the trade with Louisiana. He sent his agents 
to America to open up the trade, but found the Spanish ports 
on the Gulf of Mexico closed to his vessels, because Spain, while 
recognizing the claim of France to the Territory of Louisiana, 
was jeahnis of French ambitions. 

Following the usage of nations, Spain, France and England 
all claimed certain lands in America "by right of discovery." 
As no definite boundaries could be determined, it is not surprising 
that in course of time a controversy arose among these three great 
European powers as to the extent of their domain. At the end 
of five years, Crozat, unable to overcome the Spanish opposition 
in a way to render his trade profitable, surrendered his charter. 
He was succeeded by John Law, who organized the Mississippi 


Company, which collapsed in 1720. It has become known in his- 
tory as the "Mississippi Bubble." On April 10, 1732, he surren- 
dered his charter and Louisiana a.t;ain l^ecame a crown province 
of France. 

In the meantime the English traders had been extending 
their operations into French territoiy. In 1712, the same year 
Crozat received his charter, the English incited the Fox Indians 
to hostilities against the French. The first open rupture l)etween 
France and Enoland did not come, however, until in 1753, when 
the former nation began building a line of forts from the (Ireat 
Lakes to the Ohio River to prevent the English from extending 
their posts and settlements west of the Allegheny IVIountains. 
The territory ui:)on which most of these forts wei'e Iniilt was 
(daimed by Virginia. Governor Dinwiddle of that colony sent 
Oeorge Washington, then just turned twenty-one, to demand of 
the French commandant an explanation for this invasi(m of Eng- 
lish domain while the nations were at peace. The reply was inso- 
lent, according to the British point of view, and the following 
year Washington, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was sent 
with a detachment of troops into the disputed territory. 


Washingtcm's instructions were "to comj)lete the fort already 
connnenced by the Ohio Company at the forks of the Ohio, and 
to capture, kill or drive out all who attempted to interfere with 
the English posts." This aroused the indignation of France and 
in May, 1756, that nation formally declai-ed war against Oreat 
Britain. The confiict which followed is known in European his- 
tory as the "Seven Years' War," but in this country it is univer- 
sally referred to as the "French and Indian War." For seven 
years the American colonies of both nations and the Indian tribes 
were kept in a state of turmoil, and during that jK'riod but little 
progress was made toward the development of the country. 

The war was concluded by the preliminary Treaty of Fon- 
tainebleau, November 3, 1762, in which France agreed to cede to 
Great Britain "all that ])art of the Province of Louisiana lying 
east of the Mississippi River, except the City of New Orleans and 
the island upon which it is situated." This treaty was ratified 
by the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763, at which time it was 
announced that, by an agreement previously made in secret, that 


portion of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi was ceded to 
Spain. Thus the jurisdiction of France, in what is now the United 
States, was l)rou,t;ht to an end and Wisconsin became a part of the 
British possessions in America. 

Many of the Indian tribes, who had been firm friends of the 
French, were dissatisfied with the turn of affairs which surren- 
dered the tei'ritory to the English. Pontiac, the leading chief of 
the Ottawa Nation, formed a conspiracy to drive out the English. 
Wily, brave, and a good general, he went cautiously to the chiefs 
of other tribes and enlisted their co-operation. The general up- 
rising came in June, 1763, but after a short and fierce struggle 
Pontiac and his followers were forced to }ield to the superiority 
of the white man's anus. 

Prior to the French and Indian War, the French had estab- 
lished several trading posts in what is now the State of Wiscon- 
sin. They were mere stockades, without artillery, mainly for the 
protection of the traders, and were not intended for military occu- 
pation. One of these posts, where the City of Fort Howard, in 
Brown County, is now located, was occupied by the British in 
Octol)er, 1761, and a Captain Balfour, with a small detachment 
of troops, was left to garrison the place. The post was called by 
the British Fort Edward Augustus, but it was abandoned in Jime, 
1763, when the garrison learned that the fort at Mackinaw had 
been captured by Pontiac. 

In 1766 Jonathan Carver, in his journey across Wisconsin 
and up the jNIississippi River, noted the ruins of Fort Edward 
Augustus in his report. About that time independent English 
trappers and traders visited the country about the Great Lakes 
and the Upper Mississippi Valley. They operated without the 
sanction and support of the English colonial aiithorities and were 
not always strictly within the limits of the law in their transac- 
tions. This was the beginning of the Northwest Fur Company, 
which a few years later contested with the French traders for the 
patronage of the Indians of the Northw^est. This company estab- 
lished a nmnlier of trading posts about the Great Lakes, a few 
of them in what is now Wisconsin. 


Following the French and Indian War, the British occupied 
most of the French posts in the territory ceded by the treaty of 


1763 and established some new ones, the most important of which 
were at Detroit, Vincennes, Indiana, and Kaskaskia and Cahokia, 
Illinois. Then came the American Revolution, which again 
changed the map of Central North America. When the people 
living in that part of Louisiana that was ceded to Great Britain 
by the Treaty of Paris learned what had been done, many of 
them refused to acknowledge allegiance to the new government 
and removed to the west side of the Mississippi. Shortly after the 
beginning of the Revolutionary War a large number of these peo- 
ple recrossed the river and allied themselves with the colonists in 
their struggle for independence. 

A large part of the ceded territory was claimed by the Colony 
of Virginia, Avhich was one of the thirteen that rebelled against 
British oppression. Early in 1778 the Virginia Legislature au- 
thorized General George Rogers Clark to lead an expedition 
against the British posts of the Northwest, and voted a smn of 
money to defray the expenses. Clark rendezvoused his little 
force on an island in the Ohio River near Louisville, from which 
he started on his campaign. Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes 
surrendered without serious opposition, and by the reduction of 
these posts the western boundary of the United States was fixed 
at the Mississippi River by the Treaty of 1783, which ended the 
Revolution and established the independence of the American 
Republic. The territory now comprising the State of Wisconsin 
was therefore added to the domain of the United States through 
Clark's conquest of the Northwest. 


Although the British did not evacuate the last of their posts 
in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys and aboxit the Great Lakes 
until in 1796, Congress induced Virginia and all other claimants 
to cede to the United States their rights, such as they were, to the 
country north and west of the Ohio River, and in 1787 was passed 
the famous ordinance for the establishment of a government "over 
the territory of the United States, northwest of the River Ohio." 
The boundaries of the Northwest Territory, as defined by this 
ordinance, included the i)i'esent States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
JNlichigan and Wisconsin, though provision was made for its divi- 
sion into territories or states, "whenever Congress shall deem it 




L. ^ 




Ct, w 












General Artliur St. Clair was appointed governor of the 
Northwest Territory. On August 15, 1796, after the last of the 
British posts was evacuated, the governor issued a proclamation 
establishing Wayne County, which included the following terri- 
tory: "Beginning at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, where it 
flows into Lake Erie; thence up that river for a distance of forty 
miles; thence west to the junction of the St. Joseph and St. Mary's 
Rivers (where Fort Wayne, Indiana, now stands); thence in a 
northwesterly direction to the southernmost point of Lake Michi- 
gan; thence northwest to the divide between the streams that flow 
intd Lake Michigan and those flowing into the Mississippi, and 
northward along said divide to the northern boundary of the ter- 
ritory of the United States." 

Wayne County, as thus created, included the present Racine 
County, as well as all that part of Wisconsin in wdiich the streams 
flow toward Lake Michigan. Hence, the first political subdivision 
of which Racine County formed a part was "Wayne County, 
Northwest Territory," though at that tune there was not a single 
white man living within its limits, except the straggling settle- 
ment near the head of the Green Bay. South of Wajnie County 
was the County of St. Clair, which embraced the greater portions 
of the fjresent States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. 


By an act of Congress, which took effect on July 4, 1800, the 
Territory of Indiana was created. It included all the present 
States of Indiana. Illinois and Wisconsin, nearly all of Michigan, 
and a portion of Minnesota. The seat of government was fixed at 
Vincennes, f)n the Wabash River, and General William H. Harri- 
son was appointed govei-nor. There were now two settlements 
in Wisconsin — Green Bay and Prairie du Chien — and the terri- 
torial authorities of Indiana appointed a justice of the peace 
for each. 

On the last day of June, 1805, the Territory of Michigan was 
set oif from Indiana by an act of Congress, but its western bound- 
ary was defined as "a line drawn from the most southerly bend or 
extreme of Lake Michigan through the middle of said lake to 
its northern extremity, and thence due north to the northern 
boundary of the territory of the United States." The establish- 
ment of Michigan Territory did not affect Wisconsin in any way. 


It remained a part of Indiana nntil the Territory of Illinois was 
erected hj the act of March 2, 1809. 

The new Territory of Illinois included "all that part of the 
Territory of Indiana lying- west of the Wabash River and a line 
drawn dne north from Post Vincennes to the territorial boundary 
between the United States and Canada." By this act of March 
2, 1809, Wisconsin became a part of the Territory of Illinois. 
When Illinois was admitted into the Union as a state in 1818, 
"all the territory of the United States northwest of the River 
Ohio, north of the States of Indiana and Illinois, and west of 
Lake Michigan," was attached to and made a part of Michigan 
Territory. Here was another change in jurisdiction for Wiscon- 
sin, which remained a part of Michigan for nearly twenty years. 
During this period the first Wisconsin comities wci-e organized. 
Soon after the admission of Illinois, Lewis Cass, then governor 
of Michigan Territor.y, issued a proclamation establishing three 
counties in the newly attached territory — Michilimackinac, 
Brown and Crawford. This proclamation was issued on October 
26, 1818. 

The County of Michilimackinac included all that part of the 
present State of Wisconsin north of a line passing through the 
head of Little Noquet Bay, extending eastward to Lake Huron 
and westward to the Mississippi River. Michilimackinac Avas 
named as the comity seat. South of the County of Michilimack- 
inac, the remainder of the state was divided into two counties. 
Brown County extended from Lake Michigan westward to a north 
and south line passing through the middle of the portage between 
the Fox River of Green Bay and the Wisconsin River. Green 
Bay was designated the county seat. West of Brown and extend- 
ing to the Mississippi River was the County of Crawford, with 
Prairie du Chien as the county seat. By this proclamation of 
Governor Cass, the territory now embraced in Racine County 
formed a ])art of Brown County. 

The new counties were organized, officers being appointed by 
Governor Cass, county courts were established, consisting of one 
chief and two associate justices, any one of whom might hear 
and decide cases in the absence of the other two. This was the 
beginning of civil government in Wisconsin. 

The Black Hawk War of 1832 culminated in a treaty by which 
the Sac and Fox Indians ceded to the United States a large tract 


of land in what is now tho State of Iowa, where no eivil govern- 
ment existed. Ou June 28, 1834, President Andrew Jackson 
approved an act of Congress extending the jurisdiction of Michi- 
gan over a large expanse of country west of the Mississippi, from 
the northern bomidary of Missouri on the south to the line divid- 
ing the United States from the British i)ossessions on the north, 
and extending westward to the Missouri River. Two counties 
west of the Mississippi — Dubuque and Des Moines — were cre- 
ated by the ^Michigan Legislature in September, 1834, and about 
the same time ^Milwaukee County was set off from Brown and 
Iowa County from Crawford. The territory now included in 
Racine County formed a part of the County of Milwaukee. 


About the close of the year 1835, the people living in that 
part of ^lichigan Territory lying between Lake Huron and Lake 
Michigan started a movement for admission into the Union as a 
state. This influenced those living in the country west of Lake 
Michigan to consider the question of asking Congress to establish 
a new territory. On January 9, 1836, the members of the Michi- 
gan Legislatui'e representing the districts west of Lake Michigan 
met in a sort of infoi-mal session at Green Bay and prepared a 
memorial asking Congi-ess to organize a new territory west of 
that lake. The memorial was unanimously adopted and for- 
warded to Cf)ngress, where it received jDrompt consideration. 

George W. Jones, or "General" Jones, as he was familiarly 
known in Michigan, was then the territorial delegate. He was 
interested in the development of the country west of Lake Michi- 
gan and the Mississi])pi and worked early and late for the erection 
of the new teri'itory. The following story has been told of some 
of his political tactics to secure the i)assage of the l)ill : John C. 
Calhoun, of South Carolina, had freely expressed his opposition 
to the measure, and Jones decided to procure the absence of Cal- 
houn when the bill was called up for final action. To this end he 
cultivated the acquaintance of a lady who was a friend of Mr. 
Calhoun and showed her so many attentions and courtesies that 
she expressed the hope some opportunity might arise for her to 
reciprocate. This was just what the General had been scheming 
for and replied: "You can, if you will, do me the greatest favor 
in the world." He then explained his territorial bill and the 


opposition of Mr. Calhoun to its becoming a law. "Now," said 
he, "this bill will come np on snr-h a day. When I send yon my 
card, call out Mr. Calhoun and on some pretext keep him out for 
an hour or two." The lady was equal to the emergency. She 
called Mr. Calhoun from the house just at the right time and the 
bill was passed while he was absent. 

On Ajiril 20, 1836, President Jackson affixed his signatiire 
to the bill establishing the Territory of "Wisconsin, with the fol- 
lowing boundaries: "Commencing at the northeast corner of 
the State of Illinois; thence through the middle of Lake Michigan 
to a point opposite the main channel of Green Bay; thence through 
that chamiel and the bay to a point opposite the mouth of the 
Menominee River; thence up that river to its head, which is near- 
est the Lake of the Desert; thence to the middle of said lake; 
thence doAvn the INIontreal River to its mouth; thence with a direct 
line across Lake Superior to where the territorial line of the 
L^nited States last touches the lake northwest; thence on the 
north, with the territorial line, to the White Earth River; thence 
by a line drawn down the middle of the main channel of that 
stream to the Missouri River; thence down the middle of the main 
channel of the last mentioned stream to the nortliAvest corner of 
the State of Missouri; and thence with the boundaries of the 
States of Missouri and Illinois, as already fixed by act of Congress, 
to the place of beginning." 

As thus created, the new territory included all of the present 
States of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and a large part of 
North and South Dakota, 1)ut the organic act contained the pro- 
vision that the territory might be divided into two or more, should 
Congress so determine. 

On April 30, 1836, Henry Dodge was commissioned governor 
of the new territory by President Jackson; John S. Horner, sec- 
retary; Charles Dunn, chief justice; William C. Frazer and David 
Irwin, associate justices; W. W. Chapman, attorney, and Francis 
Cehon, marshal. Pursuant to the pi'ovisions of the organic act, 
Governor Dodge ordered a census taken, which showed a joopu- 
lation of 22,214, nearly one-half of whom lived west of the Mis- 
sissippi River. After the census was taken, the governor appor- 
tioned the members of the Territorial Legislature, which con- 
sisted of thirteen councilmen and twenty-six representatives. 
Milwaukee County (of which Racine was then a part) showed a 


population of 2,893, and to this county were apportioned two 
councihnen and three representatives. At the election for mem- 
bers of the Legislature on October 30, 1836, Gilbert Knapp and 
Alanson Sweet were chosen councilnien, and Charles Durkee, 
"William B. Sheldon and ^NFadison W. Cornwall, representatives. 
The first session of the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin was 
convened at Belmont on October 25, 1836. During this session 
fifteen new counties in the present State of Wisconsin were 
created, viz. : Calumet, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, 
Jefferson. Manitowoc, jMai'qiiette, Portage, Racine, Rock, She- 
boygan, Walworth and Washington. 


On August 6, 1846, President Polk approved "An act to 
enable the people of Wisconsin Territory to form a constitution 
and state government, and for the admission of such state into 
the Union." Under the provisions of this act 124 delegates to a 
constitutional convention were elected in Sei^tember. Racine 
County was represented in the convention by James H. Hall, 
Edward G. Ryan, Marshall M. Strong, James B. Carter, Victor 
M. Willard, Frederick S. Lovell, Elijah Steele, Chatfield H. Par- 
sons, Haynes Finch, Stephen O. Bennett, Daniel Harkin, Chaun- 
cey Kellogg and Nathaniel Dickinson. The convention met on 
October 5, 1846, and continued in session until December 16, 1846, 
but the constitution was rejected by the people. 

A second constitutional convention assembled on December 
15, 1847, and completed its Avork on February 1, 1848. Racine 
County's delegates to this convention were: Theodore Secor, S. 
R. ]\[cClellan, James D. Reymert, A. G. Colo, Horace T. Saunders, 
Frederick S. Lovell, A. B. Jackson and S. A. Davenport. The con- 
stitution was submitted to the people at a special election on the 
second Monday of March, 1848, and was adopted by a substantial 
majority. In Racine County the vote was 1,363 for the constitu- 
tion and 2,474 against it. Under this constitution Wisconsin be- 
came one of the sovereign states of the American Union. 


To the casual reader, much of the matter in this chapter may 
seem irrelevant and not directly affecting the State of Wisconsin 
and Racine County. But every event is a cause that produces 


some effect, and the three and a half centuries following the dis- 
covery of America present an unbroken chain of such events, 
"without any one of which the history of Wisconsin might have 
been entirely different. Under the papal grant of 1493, to the 
King and Queen of Spain, the territory now comprising the State 
of Wisconsin became subject to Sj^anish authority. True, that 
authorit}' was never exercised over the region, but had Spain been 
as active in the matter of explorations as France, what might 
have followed can only be conjectured. By the discoveries of 
Marquette and Joliet and La Salle, Wisconsin was subject to 
France from April, 1682, to February, 1763. From that tune to 
the close of the Revolutionary War, it was a dependency of Great 
Britain. It then became the territory of the Uiiited States, and 
in 1787 was made part of the Northwest Territory. From 1800 
to 1809 it formed a part of the Territory of Indiana. For the next 
nine years it was i^avt of the Territorv of Illinois, and in 1818 
was made a part of the Michigan Territory, where it remained 
until erected into the Territory of Wisconsin in 1836. Twelve 
3^ears later it was admitted to statehood. Thus, step by step, 
event followed event, until Wisconsin's star was added to the 
American constellation of states. 




No doubt the first white men who ever beheld the shores of 
what is iioA\- Racine County were Marquette and Joliet and their 
five voyageurs, as they returned from their discovery of the Mis- 
sissippi River in the late summer or early autunm of 1673. It is 
possible that La Salle and his companions saw this part of the 
Wisconsin coast in 1679, though no mention of such fact is made 
in the Jesuit Relations for that year. 

About the middle of September, 1699, Francois Joliet de 
Montigny, Jean Francois Buisson de St. Cosme, Antoine Davisson 
and Thaumer de la Source, accompanied by a lumiber of voyag- 
eurs and guided by Henri de Tonti, left Michilimackinac to seek 
a shorter passage to the Mississippi River. In their canoes they 
passed up the west shore of Lake Michigan and on the 7th of 
October arrived at the Indian village where Milwaukee now 
stands. They were told by the Indians that by ascending the 
Root River, and then making a portage of some nine leagues to 
the Fox River of the Illinois, they could reach the Illinois. On 
the 10th they came to the mouth of the Root River, where they 
found Francois ^lorgan de Yincennes, a French officer, with a 
small detachment of troops and Indian guides, on his way to the 
country of the Miami Indians. After a few days the two parties 
separated, Yincennes pursuing his journey and the others at- 
tempting to ascend the Root River. In a letter written by St. 
Cosme, the writer stated that they found the river skirted with 
pleasant praries, but so scant of water and filled with obstructions 
that they feared the Fox would be equally troublesome and aban- 
doned the attempt to reach the Illinois by that route. This letter 
is the only account of the expedition, but it is almost certain that 
these Frenchmen were the first white persons to set foot upon the 
soil of Racine County, though no settlement was formed there 
until more than a century and a quarter later. 



Prior to 1832 the country between Lake Michigan and the 
Rock Kivei- contained no white settlers, except here and there a 
trading post kept by some half-])reed Frenchman or an agent of 
one of the great fur companies. These posts could hardly be called 
settlements, as neither the trader nor the fur company which he 
might represent owned the land upon which the post was sit- 
uated. All he and his few white associates wanted was the priv- 
ilege of cultivating a few vegetables, and this privilege the Indians 
cheerfully granted, without relinquishing their title. One of these 
trading posts was established at Skunk Grove, in the northwest- 
ern part of the present Mount Pleasant Township, by a French- 
man named Jacques Jambeau. Just when he located there is 
not certain, but he was there at the time of the Black Hawk War 
in 1832, and may have been there for three or four years before 
that time. He married an Indian Avoman (as did many of the fur 
traders) and was still located at Skunk Grove when the first 
actual white settlers came to the county. His establishment, like 
all those trading posts, was not intended as a permanent settle- 
ment, though his ca])in and trading house were doTibtless the first 
structures of any character erected by civilized man in what is 
now Racine Coimty. 


On December 3, 1798, there Avas boi-n at Chatham, Massachu- 
setts, a boy that was destined to play a conspicuous part in the 
early history of Racine County and city. That boy was named 
Gilbert Knapp. His parents, John and Sarah (Smith) Knapp, 
came from England in the early ])art of the Eighteenth Century 
and settled at Horseneck, Connecticut. When the Revolutionary 
War broke out, John Knapp entered the Continental army and 
remained in the service until the independence of his country was 
assured. He was then master of a merchant vessel, which traded 
with European ports, and upon retiring from the sea engaged in 
the mercantile business at Poughkeepsie, New York. 

Gilbert Knapp attended the schools of his native borough 
until he was about fourteen years of age, when he shipped as a 
sailor before the mast on a vessel commanded by Captain Childs, 
an imcle by mari-iage. His first voyage lasted nine months, and 
upon his retuin home he found the United States at war with 

1. Gilbert Kn;tpp. KouikIlt of Uaciiif. ITDS-KSST. 

2. Sarah Millijian. First white woman in Hacine, 1835. 1791-1877. 

3. B. B. Gary. First postmaster and first physician. 1801-18C0. 

4. M. M. Strong. The first lawyer in Hacine. 

1. John Bangs. First Dane in Racine. Preacher. 

2. Anthony Hanson. Early Danish settler. Grocer. 

3. Frederick Nelson. Danish settler. Killed in Rebellion. 

4. Peter C. Lutkin. I'loneer Dane. 

1. Catharine Davis. Welsh settler of 1841. 

2. Margaret Lewis. Welsh settler of 1841. 

3. .lames Pugh. Welsh settler of 1841. 

4. Jeanette Pu^'h. Welsh settler of 1841. 


Great Britain. Ho imniodiatoly shippod as master's mate on 
board the Leo, eomnuuided by Captain Besonne. The Leo had 
been chartered by the United States Government to carry 
despatches to France; carried seventeen guns and a crew of 150 
men, and was provided with h'tters of marque, which enabled her 
to prey upon the enemy's conunerce. To enter the French ports 
it was necessary to run the English blockade, and in this young 
Knapp found all the excitement that an adventurous lad of fifteen 
could desire. He made three successful voyages with the Leo and 
was several times engaged with British cruisers and armed mer- 

Toward the close of the war, Captain Knapp formed the 
acquaintance of some naval officers who had served with the 
commodore, Perry, on Lake Erie, and through their influence he 
transferred his marine operations to the Great Lakes. In 1818 
he went upon a government cutter and for over a .year was em- 
ployed in visiting and studying the harbors and tributary rivers 
of the lakes. He was then placed in command of the cutter 
A. J. Dallas and at the same time was promoted to captain. For 
ten months he was stationed at Detroit. At the end of that time 
he was sent to break up a smuggling trade in furs that was going 
on about Mackinac, in which he was eminently successful. Just 
before retiring from the government service in 1828, while on 
one of his cruises up the west shore of Lake Michigan, he dropped 
aixchor off the mouth of the Root River and went ashore "to take 
a look at the country." Then and there he made up his mind to 
make a more extended examination, with a view to establishing 
a settlement, but the land was still in the hands of the Ladians, 
and this fact, with other circumstances, prevented him from car- 
rying out his intention until several years later. 

Not long after his visit to the mouth of the Root River, Cap- 
tain Knapp quit the lakes and went to a small town on the shore 
of Lake Erie, in "Western New York, where he engaged in the 
forwarding and commission business. "Wlien he learned of the 
treaty of September 26, 1833, by which the Lidian tribes clauning 
the lands in Southeastern Wisconsin had relinquished their title, 
the old desire to fomid a settlement at the mouth of the Root River 
was revived. The treaty gave to the Lidians the right to remain 
upon the ceded lands for three years, but Captain Knapp con- 
cluded that he would rather take his chances in going upon for- 


bidden ground than to lose the coveted site through the activity 
of some other claimant. Accordingly, early in the summer of 
1834, he sold his interests in the State of New York and went to 
Chicago. There he succeeded in interesting Gurdon S. Hubbard 
in the i^roject and secured his co-operation. Leaving Chicago on 
hoi'seback, with no companion but an Indian guide, he made an 
uneventful journey to Jambeau's trading post at Skunk Groye. 
There he obtained the services of another guide and spent two 
days in examining the shores of the lake and the river, to ascer- 
tain the possibility of establishing a harbor. 

Returning to Chicago, Captain Knapp made a report to INlr. 
Hubbard which was evidently satisfactory, as that gentleman 
agreed to bear his share of the expense in locating a claim and 
starting a settlement. In November, 1834:, Knapp returned to the 
Root River, bringing with him from Chicago the materials for a 
ca})in and three men to assist him in liuildmg it. Those men 
Avere A. J. and "William Luce and a man named Welch. Soon after 
the cabin Avas erected, Knapp left the Luce brothers as his agents 
to hold the claim and went back to Chicago. After a consultation 
with ^Ir. Hubbard he went to Buffalo, New York, where one of 
his friends, Jacob A. Barker, expressed a desire to become a part- 
ner in the enterpi'ise. Captain Knapp returned to Chicago and 
submitted the proposition to Air. Hubbard. Under date of March 
30, 1835, he wrote to Mr. Barker, offering him a one-third interest 
for $1,200. The offer was accepted and the three men — Knapp, 
Hubbard and Barker — laid claim to the east fractional half of 
Section 9 (the government survey had not then been made), con- 
taining 140.98 acres, of which seventy-four acres were on the 
north side of the river and the remainder on the south side. Upon 
this claim the proprietors established the Town of "Port Gil- 
bert," the first Avhite settlement in Southeastern Wisconsin. 


Rumors of the great fertility i>f the sdil in the new "Indian 
Purchase" spread rapidly through the older states and started a 
tide of immigration to the Northwest. From New England, from 
New York, from the Ohio Valley, came home seekers, singly or 
in little l)ands, and before a year from the time Captain Knapp 
and his associates built their little cabin at the mouth of the Root 
River, there were a hundred or more actual settlers in what is 

1. John C. Smith. German. Located in Racine in 1S42. 

2. Georf^e Wustum. German settler of 1844. 

;i. Barbara Ortner Wu-tum. Wife of George Wustum. 

4. John Krantz. Settled here in 1S44. 

1. A. Constantine Barry. Came to Racine in 1^46. 

2. Achas P. Dutton. Located here in 1841. 

3. Elihu D. Filer. Came in the '30^. 

4. Rosweli Park. Came to Racine in 1S52. Founder of Racine College. 

1. Lucius S. Blake. Settled in Racine in 183o. 

2. Eldad Smith. Came to county in 1835. 

3. Dr. Elias Smith. Came in 18:i6. First president of village. 

4. Reuben M. Norton. Game to Racine in 1842. First Mayor. 


iK.w Kaciiic ('(luiity. 'l'(M-(iiii|iilc ;i list of those early settlers, after 
a lapse of four score years, Wduld he iiiii»ussil)le. But from vari- 
iius sources, such as old tax records, the membership roll of the 
Old Rettlei's' Society, etc., a lar^e number of the names of those 
who settk'd in the county during the three years immediately 
following the advent of Captain Knapp has been collected. It is 
not claimed that the list is cdinplctc. but it is believed that it 
contains the names of practically all who left their im])ress upon 
the county fi-om the time of its first settlement to the time of its 

Settlers of 1835 — Edward Adams, John Adams, Joseph 
Adams, Samuel N. Basey, Elam Beardsley, JNIai-tin Beardsley, 
James Beeson, Hiram and Hugh Bennett, A. H. Blake, C. H. 
Blake, Levi Blake, Lucius S. Blake, Sanford Blake, Isaac and Nel- 
son Butlei', Joseph Call, Stephen Campbell, Richard Carpenter, 
Alfred and Dr. Bushnell B. Cary, Walter Cooley, Henry F. Cox, 
Samuel Daniels, John Davis, Tristam Davis, Harrison Fay, Alan- 
son Filer, Eugene Gillespie, E. J. Clenn, Levi Godfrey, Thomas 
Green, Thomas Hood, Joel Horner, Samuel Kerr, Joseph Knapp, 
Sheridan Kimball, Paul Kingston, Silas Lloyd, Joseph S. Long- 
well, Samuel Mars, Levi Mason, Sarah Milligan, Marilla Morse, 
Alva, A. (i. and Zadock Newman, D. N. Niblack, F. H. Niius, 
B. C. Perce, Andrew, Thomas and William Place, Benjamin Pratt, 
Alvin and Elisha Raymond, Joel and Nathaniel Rogt'rs, Daniel 
B. Rork, Joel Sage, William Saltonstall, Stephen Sandford, Tim- 
othy Sands, A. B. Saxton, William See, Eldad Smith, Dr. Elias 
Smith, Lemuel Smith, Moses Smith, Amaziah Stebbins, John B. 
Wade, James and Nelson A. Walker, Edmund Weed, William 
Whiting, Daniel AMaitmore. 

Settlers of 1836 — Benjamin F. Barker, Hiram and Levi 
Barnes, J. O. Bartlett, Nelson Bentley, Levi and Rufus Billings, 

Edward and Bradley, Orson Bmiip, David Bushnell, George 

Bushnell, James Busscy, The Buttles Family, John Brewer, Jo- 
seph and Tyler Caldwell, Samuel E. Chapman, William A. Cheney, 
Amma Clark, Norman Clark, Archibald Cooper, Nathan H. Dar- 
ling, Charles Dewitt, Lewis G. Dole, A. W. Doolittle, Joseph 
Drake, Thaddeus Earl, Elisha and Osborne L. Elms, Benjamin 
Felch, Charles and Jared Fox, G. W. Gamble, Calvin Gault, James 
Graham, William Holmes, Emanuel Horner, Gilman Hoyt, E. R. 
Hugenin, Stephen N. Ives, Lorenzo Janes, Orrin Jerome, Nathan 


Joy, Albert G. Knight, Saiiniel G. Knight, Timothy Knight, Sam- 
uol Lane, Theodore S. Lane, Fordiee Lineohi, Alfred Lockwood, 
Alexander Logan, H. D. Morse, Wesley jNInnger, John M. Myers, 
Austin, Henry, Philip R. and Wallace Mygatt, James Nelson, 
Cyrus and George Nichols, Charles Nobles, Samuel Ormiston, 
Hiram Page, John T. Palmer, Newton and Silas Peck, Origeu 
Perkins, Rev. Samuel Pillsbury, Seneca Raymond, Abram Res- 
sigue, Ira A. Rice, George F. and Henry B. Roberts, John Rogers, 
Reuben Rogers, Samuel C. Russ, Sidney A. Sage, Stephen H. Sage, 
Daniel Salisbury, Adney Sampson, Eseck B., Luther R. and Wil- 
liam Sears, J. Sellers, Charles and Lyman K. Smith, Jonathan M. 
Snow, Thomas Spencer, Marshall JNl. Strong, Enoch Thompson, 
Paul W. Todd, John T. Trowbridge, Henry and Stewart Trow- 
bridge, Caleb J. True, R. M. Walker, Thomas Warner, William 
H. Waterman, Arad Wells, Simeon Wliitely, L. O. and Martin 
AMiitman, Enoch Woodbridge, Adney and Daniel Wooster, Peter 

Settlers of 1837 — E. G. Ayer, Orrin Barry, Benjamin and 
Philander Bartlett, Robert Beatty, Philo Belden, Robert Bell, 
("'orneliiis Bi'ezee, Archibald Brown, Jefferson Brown, William 
Brown, Edward Buchan, William Bull, Stephen Bushnell, Dyer 
Buskirk, Jacob Bussey, Owen Campbell, Joseph Clark, John 
Coggswell, Philander Cole, James, John and J. S. Cooper, William 
Crierston, L. R. Darling, William S. Derby, George E. Duncan, 
Pi-anklin Emerson, E. D. Filer, Benjamin and Royal Flanders, 
David M. Fowler, John Freelove, Horace Frost, T. W. Gault, 
J. H. Gipson, Alexander Graj^, Ebenezer Heald, S. F. Heath, 
George W. and Tristam C. Hoyt, Roland Ives, John Jones, Austin 
Kellogg, Patrick Laughrin, Jason Lothrop, William F. Lyon, 
George and Robert McKey, Israel Markham, Louis D. Merrills, 
Henry Miller, William O. Mills, James H. Morgan, Ruel Nims, 
Isaac G. Northway, Nelson R. Norton, Thomas O 'Sprig, Pliny M. 
Perkins, Benjamin and Ransom Reynolds, Lewis Royce, Zach- 
ariah Sands, (^harles, George, Dr. John E. and Reynolds Scofield, 
James Scott, Alonzo and Annis Sears, Elisha S. Sill, Daniel Slau- 
son, David Smith, Alonzo Snow, George Stebbins, Oren Stephens, 
O. Van Valen, Samuel C. Vaughan, William Wade, C. E. Waite, 
Seth Warner, Frederick A. and Harvey Weage, DaAad Yells, 
Sautell and Sela \Vhitman, Victor M. willard. 

Many of these men brought their wives and children with 

Photo furnished by Billings 

Pioneer of Racine 


them, but they are not includod in the above. In 1840, six years 
after the first settlement was made at Port Gilbert, the popula- 
tion of Racine County (which then included the present County 
of Kenosha) was 3,475. In the chapters on Township History and 
City of Racine will be found an account of most of the early set- 
tlers, where they located, what they did toward building up the 
community, etc. 


Looking back to the fall of 1833, when the United States 
commissioners met the Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi chiefs 
at Chicago and negotiated the treaty by which Southeastern Wis- 
consin was opened to settlement by the white men, it occurs to 
the writer that the young people of the present generation might 
be interested in knowing how the first settlements were made and 
how the pioneers of Racine County lived. Imagine a vast, un- 
broken tract of country stretching away westward from Lake 
Michigan to the Mississippi River. Here and there were dense 
forests from which there "was not a stick of timber amiss," and 
between these woodlands were pleasant prairies, untouched by 
the plow and never trodden by the foot of civilized man. It was 
into this primeval wilderness that the Racine County pioneers 

came — 

"Not with the roll of stirring drums, 
And the trumpet that sings of fame," 

but with brave spirits, axes and rifles, they came to conquer and 
subdue the Wisconsin wilds, build roads, open farms, erect 
churches and school houses, fomid cities and build up a state that 
ranks second to none in the American L^nion. 

The first duty incumbent upt)n the settler was to select and 
mark the boundaries of his claim. In choosing a location, soil, 
timber and natural advantages were the first considerations. If 
a tract of land with a good spring upon it could be found, it saved 
the time and labor of digging a well. Without chain or compass, 
the pioneer measured his lines by counting his steps, guiding his 
course by the sun. So many steps on each boundary meant 320 
acres, more or less, and as he went along he blazed the trees with 
his axe or carved his initials in the bark with his jack-knife. 
Where trees were absent he drove stakes bearing his initials and 
sometimes the date when the claim was made. Such lines were 
often far from correct, but they answered the pui-pose, for the 


sottlci's understood that when the lands were surve.yed all ine- 
qualities would be riyhted. If a claimant lost some of his land 
on one side by the riuming of the section lines, he was almost cer- 
tain to acquire an equal area somewhere else along his boundaries. 

After the claim Avas selected, the next thing Avas to provide 
sh(>lter for himself and family. Until this was done, they lived 
in an inii)rovised cam]) and slept in the covered wagon, perhaps 
the only home they had kiiown during their journey from the old 
home to the western frontier. The pioneer's home was usually 
small in dimensions and without any architectural adornment. 
But the style of the home was not ujtpermost in their thoughts — 
any kind of shelter that would shield them from the weather was 
sufficient. Frequently the first home would be a "cat-faced" 
shed, i. e., a small cabin built of poles that the meml)ers of the 
family could handle, with the roof slanting in one direction. These 
were generally known by the Indian name of "wickiup." Some- 
times two or more families would come at the same time. In such 
cases one cabin or wickiup would be built, in Avhich all would live 
together until each settler could stake out his claim and erect his 
owui dwelling. As the population increased and neighbors drew 
closer to each other, better log cabins were built. And what an 
event was the "house-raising" in a new settlement! 

After the settler had cut his logs and dragged them — more 
than likely with a team of oxen — to the site selected for his cabin, 
he invited his neighbors, some of whom often lived several miles 
away, to the "raising." When all were assembled at the place, 
foui' men were chosen to "carry up the corners." These men 
were skilled in the use of the axe and were possessed of a "me- 
chanical eye," which was the only jilumb line relied on to keep 
the Avails perpendicular. They took their stations at the four cor- 
ners of the cabin and as the logs were pushed up to them on 
"skids" they cut a "saddle" upon the top of each log and a notch 
in the mider side of the next to fit upon the saddle. The man 
having the "Initt end" of a log was required to cut his notch a 
little deeper than the man at the top end, in order that the walls 
might be carried up about on a level, but as the butt and fop ends 
of the logs Avere generally alternated, the Avork Avas pretty equally 
distributed. No o])enings Avere left for doors and Avindows, these 
being cut out Avith the ax or saAv afterward. At one end an 
opening Avould be made for a fireplace, just outside of Avhich was 


constructed .-i cliiiiiiicy of stone, oi'. it' stone was not to he had 
conveniently, of logs and ehiw 'I'he I'oof was invai'ial)ly of clap- 
boards, split or rived from a white oak with an implement called 
a frow. The floor — if there was one — was of puncheons, or 
slabs of timber, split as nearly the same thickness as p()ssi])le and 
smoothed off on the upper sui-face with an adz after the floor 
was laid. The door was also made of thin puncheons, or clap- 
boards. Nails were a luxury and not infrequently a cabin would 
be completed without a single article of iron being used in its 
construction. The door wovfld be fastened together with wooden 
pins, hung on wooden hinges and provided with a wooden latch, 
which could be lifted from the outside by a thong of deerskin 
passed through a small hole in the door. At night the thong was 
drawn inside and the door was locked. This custom gave rise to 
the expression, "Tlie latch string is always out," signifying that 
a visitor would be welcome at any time. The clapboards of the 
roof were held in position by i)oles riuniing the full length of the 
cabin and fastened to the end logs with wooden pins. 

After the "house-raising" came the "house-warming." A 
)iew cabin was hardly considered fit to live in imtil it had been 
l^roperly dedicated. In almost every frontier settlement there 
was at least one man who coifld play the violin. The "fiddler" 
was called into requisition and the new cabin would become a 
"sound of revelry by night." On such occasions no tango, maxixe, 
one-step or hesitation waltz would be seen, but the old Virginia 
reel, the stately minuet and the old-fashioned cotillion, where 
some one "called the figures" in a stentorian voice, were very 
nnich in evidence. It is quite probable that the guests at a presi- 
dential inaugural ball never derived as nuich genuine pleasure 
from the event as did these simple-hearted folk of the frontier at 
a house-warming. If the owner of the cabin had conscientious 
scruples against dancing, the house would be warmed by a frolic 
of a different character, but custom demanded that it be 
"warmed" in some way before the family took full possession. 


The furniture of the cabin was of the "home-made" varietv 
and was of the simplest character. ^lost (jf the pioneers came 
from distant parts of the coimtry in wagons, through a region in 
which there were no real roads, and to transport factoi'y made 


furniture such a great way was out of the question. Holes bored 
in the logs of the cabin were fitted with pins, upon which were 
laid clapboards to form a "china closet." If the housewife was 
fortunate enough to possess an extra sheet, or a few yards of 
calico, the china closet might be provided with a curtain in front. 
A similar contrivance in another corner of the cabin served as 
a "wardrobe," where the extra clothing of the family was laid 
away, carefully folded, until required for use. 

Benches made of puncheons, or three-legged stools, took the 
place of chairs. The table was made of boards battened together 
and supported l)y two trestles. When not in use, the trestles were 
set on to]) of each other and the table top leaned against the wall, 
or set outside of the cabin to make more room. 

In one corner a bedstead would be constructed in the follow- 
ing manner. About four feet from one wall and six feet from the 
other would be planted a stake, with forks as nearly at right 
angles as possible, the upper end of which extended to the joists, 
to one of which it was fastened. In the forks were laid poles, 
the other ends of which rested in the cracks between the logs, 
or in holes bored with a large auger in one of the logs, and boards 
were then laid from the long pole to the cabin wall. Upon these 
boards the tidy housewife jolaced her straw tick, or a feather bed, 
if she had brought one with her, and covered it with her cleanest 
sheets or a patchwork quilt. Sheets hung upon the walls back 
of the bed served as tapestry. Springs there were none, but after 
a hard day's toil such a bed provided a comfortable place. Such 
a bedstead was sometimes called a "prairie rascal." 

Stoves were unknown and the cooking was done at the huge 
fireplace, an iron teakettle, a long-handled skillet, a large iron pot 
and a coffee pot with a copper bottom being the principal utensils. 
Bread was baked and meat fried in the skillet, and in the large pot 
was cooked the "boiled dinner," consisting of generous portions 
of meat and several kinds of vegetables. Often "johnny cake" 
was made by spreading a stiff dough of cornmeal upon one side 
of a smooth board and propping it up before the fire. When one 
side of the cake was baked, it would be turned over, so that the 
other side might have its inning. A liberal supply of johnny cake 
and a bowl of sweet milk often constituted the only supper of 
the j)ionoer, and it was a meal which no settler blushed to set 
before a guest, should one drop in unexpectedly. 

1. Lorenzo Janes. Second Lawyer in Racine. 1S3T. 

2. Bethea Sapre. Located here in ls:U). 

3. Alfred Gary. Settled here in 1S3:>. 

4. M:try Knik'ht Cary. Wile of Alfred Gary. 

1. Charles Jonas. Bohemian settler of is^ii. Afterward lieutenant- 

governor of Wisconsin, and consul-general to Crefeld, Germany. 

2. Anthony Kroupa. Bohemian settler, 1.S49. 

3. Frank Korizek. Moravian settler of 1S.'J4. 

4. M. M. Secor. Bohemian. Came in 1S52. Trunk manufacturer. 

1. Ann N. Sellem. The lirst Norwegian settler, 1S4L 

2. Torbjorn Gunlenson. Norwegian settler, 1846. 

3. Thora Gunlenson. Wife of Torbjorn. 

4. Betsy Torbjorn. Daughter of above. 


To one of the joists or against the wall of the cabin were 
[)inned two hooks, formed from the forks of small saplings, for 
a "gun rack." Here rested the long, heavy rifle of the settler, 
and suspended from its nnizzle, or from one of the hooks, were 
the loathern bullet-pouch and the powder-horn. 


In these earl}' years of the Twentieth Century, with plenty 
of currency in circiilation, when any one needs assistance he hires 
some one to help him. It was not so in the '30s, when the first 
white settlements were established in Racine County. Money 
then was exceedingly scarce, but the pioneers overcame this diffi- 
culty by helping each other. As soon as the cabin was built, the 
next step was to clear a piece of ground (unless a prairie formed 
jiart of the claim) upon which to raise a crop. The trees were 
felled and the logs cut into lengths that could be handled, when 
the neighbors would be invited to a "log rolling." An invitation 
of this kind was rarely declined, because each man in the commu- 
nity realized his dependence upon his neighbors and knew that 
the time would come when he would be compelled by force of 
circumstances to invite them to a similar function. Every pioneer 
provided himself with a "handspike" — a small sapling of some 
tough wood, from which the liark had been removed, and pointed 
at the ends — and armed with his handspike he repaired to the 
"clearing," where the logs were to be piled in heaps so they could 
l)e burned. Two men who boasted of their physical strength were 
chosen to "make daylight," that is, place a handspike under one 
end of the log and lift it high enough for the others to get their 
spikes imder it, six, eight, and sometimes more men being re- 
quired to carry a large log to the "heap." 

While the men were rolling the logs, the women folks would 
get together and prepare dinner, each bringing from her own 
store some little delicacy that she thought the others might not 
be able to supply. Bear meat and venison were common on such 
(occasions, with a bountiful share of vegetables, corn bread and 
lye hominy, dried fruits, etc., to romid out the bill of fare. By 
the time the meal was ready the men had a good appetite, and 
when they arose from the table it "looked like a cyclone had 
struck it." If the weather was warm, the dinner was often served 
out of doors, under the shade of the trees, and while the men 


ate, one of the woiiu'ii would wave a small green bough over the 
table to "shoo off the flies." But each family had its turn and by 
the time the woi'k of the neighborhood was all done, no one was at 
any disadvantage in the amount of pro\asions consumed. 

The same system prevailed in harvest time. After wheat 
fields made their appearance it was no unusual sight to see ten 
or a dozen men in a field, some swinging their cradles, the others 
binding and shocking the sheaves. When one field was cared for, 
the whole crowd would move on to the next one where the wheat 
was ripest, and so on until the crop of the entire community was 
made ready for threshing. No threshing machines had as yet 
come to the frontier and the first wheat grown in Racine County 
was threshed with the Hail or trampled out l)y horses or cattle on 
a smooth piece of grdund, or upon a barn floor, provided the set- 
tler was f'oi-funate enough to h;ive a barn with a floor suitable 
for the purpose. After the grain was separated from the straw 
by the flail or the tram])ing process, it was winnowed by throw- 
ing it up into the air on a da}^ when there was a good breeze, which 
cari'i(Hl away the chaff. A few years later came the "ground- 
hog" thresher and the fanning mill. ^lany a boy has grmnl)led 
because he had to turn the crank of the fanning mill at a time 
"when the fish were biting good." 


Many of the early settlers lu'ought with them small stores of 
floui', Inicon, salt, sugar, and such other things as they deemed 
necessary, but even by the practice of the most rigid frugality 
these supplies were in time exhausted. The first year's farming 
was mainly the cultivation of a "truck patch," where a few bush- 
els of corn, potatoes, turnips, etc., were raised and stored for 
winter use. Often the first crop proved insufficient for the needs 
of the family until another could be raised. Game was plentiful 
in the surrounding forests, and the trusty rifle was depended upon 
to furnish the supi^ly of meat. 

Just now it is an easy matter to telephone the grocer to "send 
up a sack of flour and a l)ushel of potatoes." Init then there were 
neither grocer, flour, ])otatoes n<ii- telephone. Mills were few and 
far apai-t Jiiid, if the settler liad ]»U'nty of coi'ii, he would frequently 
have to go such a distance to get it ground into meal that the 
greater ])art of a week would l)e requii'ed to make the trip. To 

HIS•|•()R^• ()|- RACINE C(X'.\TY 77 

avoid these loiiii', arduous journeys to mill, various methods of 
makiuii- corn meal — the principal breadstuff — were introduced 
at home. One of these was to build a fire upon a lar^e stump of 
some hard wood and keep it bui-nini;- until a deju-ession was made, 
thus foi'inint;- a "mortar." The chaiTcd wood was then carefully 
removed, a small quantity of corn poured into the mortar and 
l)cnten with a hard wood "pestle" until it was reduced to a coarse 
meal. This was a slow process, but it was often resorted to in- 
stead of a trip of forty or fifty miles to the nearest mill. 

In the fall of the year, before the corn was fully hardened, 
the "grater" was frequently used. The grater was an implement 
made by })unchin,<i- holes close together through a sheet of tin and 
then fastening the sheet on a board, with the rough side outward, 
so that the tin was slightly convex on the outer surface. Then the 
ear of corn would be rubbed back and forth over the rough surface, 
the meal would pass through the holes and slide down the board 
into a vessel placed to receive it. Another slow and tedious proc- 
ess was this, but a boAvl of mush made from grated corn, with a 
bountiful supply of good milk, fomied a common repast in those 
days, and one which was not to be despised. 

Matches were hardly ever seen on the frontier and the set- 
tlers were careful not to waste the few that found their way into 
the neighboi'hood. Somewhere about the cabin a little fire was 
always kept "for seed." In the fall, winter and early spring the 
fire was kept in the fireplace, but when smumer came and the 
weather grew so warm that a fire in the house would be uncom- 
fortable, one was kept burniiig out of doors. If a heavy rain 
extinguished it, or through negligence it was allowed to die out, 
one of the family would have to go to the nearest neighbor's for 
a blazing brand or a shovelful of coals to renew the supply. 

Wliat a simple matter it is at the present time to enter a 
room, push a button and flood the whole place with electric light. 
But when the first settlers came to Racine Coimty even the kero- 
sene lamp had not been invented. The housewife devised a lamp 
by using a shallow dish partially filled with lard or some other 
kind of grease. Into this grease was dropped a loosely twisted 
cotton rag, one end of which was allowed to project a little way 
over the side of the dish. The projecting end was then lighted, 
and while it gave light enough to enable the woman of the frontier 
to attend to her duties, such a lamp emitted both smoke and odor 


that Avould cai;se fastidious persons now to "turn v;p their noses." 
Next came the tallow candle, made in moulds of tin, usually con- 
sisting of six or eight fastened together. Occasionally only one 
family in a settlement owned a set of candle moulds, but they were 
freely loaned and passed from house to house until all hud a sup- 
ply of candles laid away in a cool, dry place for future use. Dur- 
ing the long winter evenings the family would often have no light 
except that which came from the roaring fire in the great fireplace. 

No one wore "store clothes" in those days. The housewife 
carded her wool by hand with a pair of broad-backed brushes, the 
wire teeth of which Avere all slightly bent in one direction; then 
spin it into yarn on the old-fashioned spimiing wheel; weave it 
into cloth on the old hand loom, and make it into gamients for 
the members of the family with a needle. A girl sixteen years 
of age who could not spin her "six cuts" a day or make her oaati 
dresses was rarely seen in a frontier settlement. Yet how many 
girls of that age now can make their own gowns, or how many 
young ladies who graduated from the Racine High School in 1916 
know what "six cuts" means'? 

All scraps of grease and the ashes from the fireplace wei'e 
saved for the soap-making season, which was generally in the 
early spring. Then the good man would build an "ash-hopper" 
of clapboards sloping downward to a trough. Into this hopper 
the ashes would be placed, water poured on and the lye drained 
into pails. Then the lye and grease would be boiled together in a 
huge kettle until converted into soft soap. The soap thus manu- 
factured might be lacking in perfume, but it would take the dirt 
out of the clothes, and that was the main consideration. 


But if the pioneers had their hardships, they also had their 
amusements and entertainments. Too busy to visit during the 
day, one family" would often go over to a neighl^or's to "sit until 
bedtime." On such occasions the women Avould either knit or 
sew while they gossiped, the men would discuss crops, church 
affairs or politics, and the children would crack nuts or pop corn. 
And bedtime did not mean a late hour, for all nuist rise early the 
next morning for another day's work. 

Old settlers can recall the shooting matches, when the men 
met to try their skill with the rifle, the prize for the best marks- 


(yi^oc<^j^ 0?^^^ ^^^- / nJ — fl 








A reproduction of Gilbert Knapp'a letter to Jacob A. Barker of Buffalo, in March, is:!",, offering one- 
third interest in the new town for $1,200. 


man being a turkey or a haunch of venison. At these matches 
some wonderful scores were made, and there was hardly a settler 
who could not have qualified for a sharpshooter in the anny. 

On grinding days at the old mill a number of men, while 
waiting for their grists, would pass the time in athletic contests, 
such as running foot races, wrestling, or pitching horseshoes. 
Then there was the husking bee, in which pleasure was combined 
with profit. On such occasions the corn to be husked was divided 
into two piles as nearly equal as possible; two of the guests would 
"choose up" and divide the assembled company into two sides. 
The wiimer would then select his pile of corn and the contest 
was on, the object being to see which side would finish first. Men 
and women alike took part and the young man who found a red 
ear was permitted to kiss the lassie next to him in the circle. 
"Many a merry laugh went round" when some one found a red 
ear and the lassie objected to being kissed. The young men some- 
times did not play fair, for they passed a red ear covertly from 
one to another. 

'Wlien the orchards grew old enough to bear fruit the "apple 
cutting" became a popular form of amusement, when a number 
would gather at the house of some settler to pare and slice enough 
apples to dry for the Avinter's supply. The hiisking bee and the 
apple cutting were frequently followed by a dance, the orchestra 
consisting of the one lone fiddler in the settlement. He might not 
have been a classic musician, but he could make his old fiddle 
bi-ing forth such tunes as "]\Ioney Musk." "Turkey in the Straw," 
"The Irish Washerwoman," or "The Wind That Shakes the Bar- 
ley Fields," and he never grew tired in furnishing the melody 
while others tripped the light fantastic toe. 

After the public school system was introduced, the evening 
spelling school offered both entertainment and instruction. At 
the close of the exercises the young men could "see the girls 
home" — provided they did not "get the mitten" — and if these 
acquaintances ripened into an intimacy that ended in a wedding, 
it was usually followed by a charivari, or, as it was pronounced 
on the frontier, a shivaree, which was a serenade in which noise 
took the place of harmony. The serenade was nearly always kept 
up until the bride and groom showed themselves, and the affair 
ended all the more pleasantly if the members of the shivareeing 
party each received a slice of wedding cake and a glass of cider. 


One would naturally suppose that the early settlers, after 
they had toiled to build up a home in the wilds, would be content 
to remain in that conununity and enjoy the fruits of their labors. 
This, however, was not always the ease. Some men were pioneers 
by nature and disposition. As it has been said of Daniel Boone, 
they wanted to live where they could hear the crack of no man's 
rifle except their own. They preferred the freedom of the fron- 
tier to the older conuiuniity, with its conventionalities and oft- 
times burdensome taxation. Consequently, some who settled in 
Racine County in early days, actuated by this spirit and caught 
by the Avanderlust, crossed the Mississippi and became pioneers 
a second time. Such men are well described in Brininstool's 
beautiful poem: 


I've taken toll from ev'ry stream that held a furry prize, 

But now my traps are rustin' in the sun ; 
Where once the broad, free ranges, wild, unbroken, met my eyes, 

Their acres have been civilized and won. 
The deer have left the bottom lands, the antelope the plain. 

And the howlin' of the wolf no more I hear, 
But the busy sounds of commerce warn me of an alien reign. 

As the saw and hammer echo in my ear. 

I've lived to see the prairie soil a-sproutin' schools and stores. 

And wire fences stretch on every hand; 
I've seen the nesters crowdin' in from distant foreign shores, 

And the hated railroads creep across the land. 
My heart has burned within me, and my eyes have misty grown, 

As Progress came, unbidden, to my shack; 
My streams have all been harnessed and my conquest overthrown, 

And I've been pushed aside and crowded back. 

I've seen men come with manners and with customs new and strange. 

To take the land which I have fought to hold; 
I've watched the white-topped wagons joltin' on across the range 

With those who sought to lure the hidden gold. 
I've seen the red man vanquished and the buffalo depart. 

And cowmen take the land which they possessed. 
And now there's somethin' tuggin' and a-pullin' at my heart, 

And biddin' me move on to'rds the West. 

There ain't no elbow room no more to circulate around, 

Since Civil'zation stopped beside my door; 
I'll pack my kit and rifle and I'll find new stompin' ground. 

Where things is like they was in days of yore. 
I've heard the Great West whisper, and the old, free wild life calls. 

Where men and Progress never yet have trod ; 
And I'll go back and worship in my rugged canyon walls. 

Where the pine trees croon and Nature is my God. 




Ill older that the reader may have a elear uiiderstandiug as 
to hoAv Raeine County as a separate political division came into 
existence, it will he necessary to go ])ack a few years and hriefly 
review the events that occurred prior to its organization. As 
stated in a former ('ha])ter, the territory now comprising Racine 
County was made a i)art of Brown County, by proclamation of 
(jovernor Lewis Cass of Michigan Territory in 1809, and the 
Territorial Legislature of Michigan included it in Milwaukee 
County some years later. It was therefore a part of Milwaukee 
County at the time Captain Gilbert Knapp made his claim at 
the mouth of the Root River in November, 1834. 

Captain Knapp Avas soon followed by others. No official 
survey of the lands purchased from the Chippewa, Ottawa and 
I'ota^^•atomi Indians in 1833 had l)een made, so each settler 
selected and marked the claim he desired — the word "claim" in 
this connection meaninc,' both the tract of land selected and the 
right to hold it against all comers. There was no way of describ- 
ing or designating the tract with sufficient exactness to form a 
legal recoi'd, hence the settlers asserted their rights to the lands 
upon the same principle that nations claim islands or parts of 
cf)ntinents — the right of discovery and possession. As a plain 
matter of fact, the settlers who went upon the public domain 
before the lands were surveyed and offered for sale were tres- 
passers, and liable to expulsion by government troops. They 
were called "squatters," and "squatters' rights" became an issue 
in more than one political campaign along in the '30s and '40s. 
Only in a few cases were they driven from the lands by soldiers, 
the government officials recognizing the fact that the squatters, 


as a rule, were honest, industrious men, who would develop the 
resourees of the country and in time become good citizens. 

All over the new West there was a sort of unwiitten law that 
each squatter might select a certain quantity of land and hold it 
until the government survey was made and the lands offered for 
sale, when he must enter it in the regular way, or his "claim title" 
would no longer be respected. Tn Eastern Wisconsin this un- 
written law permitted each squatter, who was the head of a family 
or a male person over eighteen years of age, to select 160 acres 
of prairie and 160 acres of timber land as his claim. In other 
localities the unwritten law was less liberal, each claimant being 
permitted to select and hold only 160 acres. 

In the event of a controversy between claimants, over the 
ownership of a given parcel of land, both the disputants were 
without means of legal redress, as the squatter was technically 
a trespasser and had no standing in law. To illustrate: "A" 
might locate a claim and measure his 320 acres as accurately as 
he could by using a pocket compass and pacing the distance along 
the boundaries, marking his name and date of making the claim 
upon his stakes, or, if the land was timbered, upon the blazes on 
the trees, after which he would return to his old home to bring 
out his family. Upon again arriving at his claim he might find 
that during his absence "B" had settled upon the land, or, in 
other words, had "jumped his claim." As neither the original 
claimant nor the "claim jumper" could appeal to the law for 
]»rotection, "A" was forced to assert his rights and recover his 
land by such means as lay in his power. To avoid violence in 
such cases the settlers established a court of their own, before 
which all disputes could be carried for adjudication. The first 
coiu'ts of this character were known as 


Hence, the first settlements in Eastern Wisconsin were ruled 
by a pure democracy — the -whole populace uniting to make the 
laws, and each citizen assuming his share of the responsil)ility for 
their enforcement. At first, each neighborhood had its own asso- 
ciation or club, composed of practically all the settlers, which 
made rules and regulations for the establishment and protection 
of claims. Such organizations were formed at Milwaukee, the 
settlement on the Root l^iver, the Pike 17iver cojonv, and at Oak 


Crook and Skunk Grove. Difforonco in tlio regulations adoj^tod 
in these several localities, and the uneortainty as to how far the 
boundary and jurisdiction of each association extended, soon 
resulted in confusion, which threatened to annul the good work 
of the associations. As all were in the County of Milwaukee, 
it was suggested that a county iniiou be formed, to the end that 
all the settlements should work under the same rules. A mass 
meeting or convention was therefore called early in the year 
1836, at which a committee was appointed to draft a constitution 
and report the same at an adjourned meeting of the convention. 
At the adjourned meeting, which was composed of delegates only, 
the report of the committee was adopted as the 


"That we, the undersigned, as settlers of public lands within 
the County of Milwaukee, deem it of vital importance that there 
should be, for the interests of the settlers, cordiality of feeling 
among them; that should Congress refuse to extend the pre-emp- 
tion law, our whole dependence is upon union and our respect for 
each others' rights. If we go on contending and striving one 
against the other until the day arrives when it shall be decided 
whether we are to have a home upon this spot that we have 
selected, there will lie no hope of success. And now let us come 
forward, detennined to protect one another, and our success will 
be complete; let not the imprudence of any one destroy the fair 
prospects of the whole. AVhat must be the condition of those 
who have expended their last farthing in reaching the spot they 
claim, if they are to be driven from their temporary refuge by a 
mob or the unfeeling speculator? To the instigator of the mob 
we would say, beware ! — to the speculator, remember the moin-n- 
ful feelings of the emigrant, sobbing adieu to the tombs and tem- 
ples of his fathers, his toils and suffei-ings in building up a new 
habitation and gathering the manna from heaven, like the Israel- 
ites, from the bosom of the wilderness. 

"And now, as American citizens (and there is a charm and 
magic in the word), we pledge ourselves to support and protect 
each other in holding our just and lawful claims against all ojipo- 
sition; also to support and abide liy the following resolutions: For 
the support of this we solemnly avow to each other and call upon 


God to witness their truth and sincerity, and invoke disgrace 
upon our heads should we prove guilty of duplicity: 

"Article I. Resolved, That the county be divided into two 
districts; that the first district shall include all that jiart of the 
county north and east of the towaiship line of Township No. 4 — 
the second, all that part of the county south and west of the north 
line of said township. 

"Article II. That each district shall be entitled to a register, 
who shall be a surveyor, legally appointed by the county sur- 
veyor, by the reconunendation of the district in which he may 
reside, whose duty it shall be to make a correct plat of his district 
and record the same upon a book of record, which said surveyor 
shall keep for the recording of claims; which shall be subject to 
the inspection of any person holding or wishing to make a claim, 
who has or may hereafter sign this constitution. Said surveyor 
shall attend to all calls to examine and survey any premises ap- 
plied for, and in case there is no previous claim upon said prem- 
ises, the surveyor shall make a survey of same and keep a record 
of all such surveys, and give a certificate to the said applicant for 
said premises to the same effect; which certificate shall be filed 
in the treasurer's office of the same district; and upon application 
to the treasurer to file said certificate, the party applying for it 
shall pay to the treasurer two dollars, and it shall be the duty of 
the treasurer to give a receipt for the same. 

"Article III. To constitute a claim, there shall be a house 
erected on the same, at least twelve feet square, with roof covered 
with boards or shingles; also, if in timber lands, there shall be at 
least one acre chopped for cultivation and fenced seven rails 
high, and if on the prairie, there shall be at least two acres fenced 
as above ; all to be performed within f ( irty days from the adoption 
of this constitution — the first claimant shall be the person who 
shall have made the first improvement without evident signs of 
relinquishing the same, by absence, or by making other claims — 
that within forty days from this time, or forty days from the tune 
of making the claim, (he) shall have the same recorded by the 
district recorder, and pay the sum of two dollars into the district 

"Article IV. That all male citizens over the age of eighteen, 
and females over the age of sixteen, shall be entitled to hold a 
claim by complying with the foregoing resolutions. 




"Article V. That every person wishing to make or hold a 
elaini within this county, shall make such claun in person and 
comply with the second and third resohitions, except females, 
who shall reside within the county, who may employ an agent in 
making a claim and be protected by this constitution and resolu- 
tions; in case of leaving th(> same, they shall employ an agent to 
reside on said claim. 

"Article VI. A treasurer shall be appointed in each district 
by their own delegates to this convention, who shall receive all 
money paid into the treasury and give a receipt for the same, 
a coi)y of which shall be filed in the office of the recorder. 

"The treasurer shall keei:» a true account of all moneys re- 
ceived and expended by him, applied to the purposes ordered by 
this constitution, and if the same shall not lie wholly expended 
when the land shall be obtained by sale or jDre-emption and all 
difficulties settled, h(> shall refund the remainder to each person 
who has signed this constitution, in propf>rtion to the amoimt 
received from each individual. Said treasurer shall give to the 
board of arbitrators a good and sufficient bond amounting to $2,000. 
Each treasurer shall provide himself with the books sufficiently 
large to record all claims and enter upon the same all testimony 
and decisions of the committee, with the certificate of the presid- 
ing officer within his district, which shall be kept and subject to 
the inspection of all persons as specified in Article II. He shall 
l-ceep in his possession this constitution and resolutions, and every 
j)erson shall, before paying in his money, sign the same — any 
person complying with the foregoing shall be considered a member 
and equally protected by the same. Said treasurer shall be enti- 
tled to twenty-five cents for each certificate he may legally issue; 
and for all recording the same fee as the coimty recorder, to be 
])aid by each individual who may require such recording to be 

"Article VII. Resolved, That a board of arbitrators con- 
sisting of five shall be selected by the people of each district. The 
duty of said arbitrators shall be to attend to all summons legally 
served, coming from a .judge or justice of the peace, to sit as a 
board of arbitrators, to hear and try any case brought before 
them, within the meaning of this constitution. The judge or 
justice issuing the same shall preside over said board and record 
all testimony and decisions of the same. A majority of the said 


arbitrators shall constitute a quorum and proceed to business 
after being duly sworn according to law; and in case the whole 
ninn])er of arbitrators are present, each ])arty may have the ])rivi- 
lege of rejecting one member of said board; and in case that one 
party has no objection to any one member, the other may reject 
two of the same, the oldest claimant so contending shall have the 
preference, provided he has made a legal claim; and in all cases 
the decision of the board shall be the same as if rendered by a 
court, and the judge or justice shall proceed accordingly; and 
each member summoned and appearing to sit upon any such case 
shall be entitled to two dollars. 

"Article VTTT. Resolved, That each member and clerk of 
this convention shall be entitled to two dollars per day while 
attending, including the time of going to and returning from said 
convention, to be i)aid equally out of the funds of each treasury 
of the districts sending the sanie, by the members presenting a 
<'ertificate signed by the president and clerk of this convention. 

"Article IX. That all decisions of the board of arbitrators 
in conformity to any of the foregoing resolutions, shall be put in 
foi'ce and complied with, peaceably if can be, and forcibly if must 
be. In case forcil)l(> means shall be resorted to, all reasonable 
ex])enses so made shall ])e paid out of the treasury of the district 
where such exi)enses are made. 

"Article X. Rescilvcd, That in case any difficulties should 
arise in regard to claims not comprehended in the foregoing reso- 
lutions, the ])oard of arbitrators shall have universal jurisdiction 
over the same and thcii- decision shall be final, as provided in the 
foregoing resolution. 

"Article XL Resolved, That any person who has a family 
of three or foin* children shall be entitled to hold one claim for 
six children, provided the oldest of such children does not exceed 
the age of eighteen or sixteen yeai'S, and that he or she shall have 
complied with the foregoing resolutions." 

The delegates who adopted this constitution were as follows: 
Milwaukee — Alanson Sweet, Albert Fowler, B. W. Finch, Henry 
C. West and Horace Chase; Root River — Gilbert Knapp, Levi 
Mason, Walter Cooley and William Luce; Pike River — Jason 
Lathrop, G. P. Post, Waters Towslee and George W. Griffin; 
Oak Creek — J<jhn Fowle and John P. Haight; Skunk Grove — 
Syiiunes Butler. Gilbeii Knapp was chosen chainnan of the eon- 


vention, and Dr. Bushiu'll B. Cary and J. C. Knapp were secre- 
taries. By order of the convention the constitntion was printed 
hy Jason Lathrop, at Pike Kiver, and it was widely circulated, 
t'orniint;- the basis of the constitutions of similar organizations all 
over Wisconsin. 


Some trouble was experienced in the enforcement of the regu- 
lations of the claim associatimis, which constituted practically the 
only law known to the squatters, and no doubt exercised a whole- 
some influence throughout a region which otherwise might have 
become the prey of lawless men. Once in awhile some one would 
come into a new settlement, knowing that the rules of the associa- 
tion were Avithout sanction of state or national law, and undertake 
to pre-empt a claim that had already been chosen by some squat- 
ter. These "claim jumpers," as they were called, were looked 
upon with great disfavor by the actual settlers and severe punish- 
ment was often inflicted upon them for their disregard of the 
self-made laws of the community. The following paragraph, 
relating to the customs of early days and the difficulties that 
occurred over the claim question, is taken from a little pamphlet 
l)ublished in ^Milwaukee in 1842, after the trouble was all over: 

"By mutual concession and an honorable adherence to neigh- 
l)orhood regulations, claim making was governed by a pro tem. 
law, which answered the purpose of general protection for the 
homes of the settlers until their lands came into market. So gen- 
eral did this become, and so united were the interests of the 
settlers, that it was deemed extremely hazardous, as well as 
highly dishonorable, for a speculator or stranger to bid u]>(>u a 
claim, even though it was not protected by a 'pre-emption right.' 
j\Iore than one 'war' was waged when such attempts as that Avere 
made, almost invariably resulting in the rout of the interloper. 
In some instances blood was shed in defense of the recognized 
rights of the settlers. When it was clearly understood what im- 
provements constituted a claim, and when the settler conformed 
to the 'by-laws' of his neighborhood, it was just as much resi>ected 
for the time being as if the occupant had the government patent 
for it. If he chose to sell his claim, he was at perfect liberty to 
do so, and the purchaser succeeded to all the rights and immunities 
of the first settler." 



Such was the state of affairs when the machinery of the Ter- 
ritorial Government of Wisconsin was started on July 4, 1836. 
At that time there were but three counties in that iDortion of the 
territory now comprising the State of Wisconsin, viz.: Brown, 
Towa and Milwaukee. As stated in a fomier chapter. Henry Dodge 
was appointed governor and soon after lieing installed in office 
he issued a proclamation for election of members of the Legisla- 
ture. Milwaukee County, which then included Racine, was enti- 
tle(l to two members of the upper Itranch and three of the lower, 
to be elected on October 10, 1836. From an old Chicago news- 
paper the following account of the political campaign is taken : 

"The sachems and wise men of Racine considered it of the 
greatest importance that one of their citizens should be elected 
to the council, because they had in mind the organization of a new 
county and the location of its seat of justice. Besides that, there 
were many visions of improvements floating in the minds of far- 
sighted men, who even ventured the assertion that railroads were 
practicable. Captain Gilbert Knapp, the first settler in this 
lovely and prosperous region, had won the esteem of his fellow- 
citizens, and was chosen as the man to represent the County of 
Milwaukee by the Racine voters. A convention to nominate a 
candidate was called at Rochester and delegates attended from 
all parts of the district, making the tiresome journey thither on 
horseback. Captain Knapp 's friends were successful, but now 
came the rub. Milwaukee was sorely displeased and a formidable 
ticket was placed in the field in opposition to the captain. The 
excitement of that time was no less profound than that of many 
a succeeding campaign. Electioneei's on horseback penetrated 
to the farthest settlements and urged the importance of their re- 
spective causes. Every possible means was resorted to by the 
opposing factions and the election day dawned upon a thoroughly 
aroused people. The result was the triumphant election of Cap- 
tain Knapp." 

There is a slight error in this account of the campaign, in 
that the writer overlooked the fact that Milwaukee County was 
entith'd to two coimcilmen. Captain Knapp and Alanson Sweet, 
of Milwaukee, were the nominees of the convention, but the ]ieople 
of Milwauk(>e wanted both covnicilmen to come from that part 
of the county. William See, the proprietor of the saw-mill at the 


Rapids, was induced to run against Knapp, the Milwaukeeites 
hoping to divide the vote of the southern part of the county, but 
Kna])]) was too well intrenched in the esteem of his fellow-citizens 
and See's defeat was overwhelming. Alnnson Sweet Avas elected 
as Captain Knajjp's colleague. 

The convention at which Captain Knapp was nominated was 
held at the log tavern of Levi Godfrey and during the campaign 
it was frequently referred to as "God-fry's Convention." In 
anticipation of a large attendance, Mr. Godfrey went to Skunk 
( irove and bought an ox for beef with which to feed the delegates. 
It is said that some of the delegates got lost in the wilderness and 
failed to find Godfrey's tavern. Dr. Bushnell B. Cary presided 
over the convention and some of the delegates remained at the 
tavern for two nights. Judge Dyer says they "slept in their 
blankets on the floor at night, and dreamed over democratic reso- 
lutions as sw^eetly as if Potawatomi Indians were not slumbering 
in an adjoining camp." 

The jollificati(jn in Racine, that followed Captain Kna])])'s 
election, was an event long remembered by old settlers. Sharing 
the joy of his friends and grateful to them for their support, the 
successful candidate made coj)ious demands upon the tavern keep- 
ers of the village and invited all to make merry after the fashion 
of the day. Racine was alive with excitement. Dignity, staid 
])ropriety, and even temperance pledges were forgotten in the 
rejoicing of the moment. A tar barrel was taken to the foot of 
IVIain Street and fired, and in the light of the bonfire a number 
of citizens, dressed in fantastic costumes, danced an Indian pow- 
wow. Dinner bells, sleigh bells and even cow bells added to the 
din; anvils were fired; charges of powder were placed in stumps 
and exploded with great noise; speeches were made, and the rev- 
elry was kept up until the "wee sma' hours," by which time many 
of the merry-makers were so intoxicated that they had to be 
assisted to their homes. It was a great occasion and was often 
i-ef erred to as a noted event in the history of early days. 

The Legislature met at Belmont on October 25, 1836, with 
Gill)ert and Alanson Sweet representing Milwaukee County in 
the council, and Charles Durkee, Madison W. Cornwall and Wil- 
liam B. Sheldon in the house. Captain Knapp was interested in 
the fonnation of a new coimty from the southern part of Milwau- 
kee, and when a l)ill was introduced i)roviding for the establish- 


ment of fifteen new counties in the territory — one of which was 
"Racine — he gave the measure his undivided support. The bill 
l»assed both houses and was approved by Governor Dodge on 
December 7, 1836. Section 2, which relates to Racine County, 
was as follows: 


"Section 2. Townships numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 north, of 
Ranges 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 east of the fourth principal meridian, 
shall be and the same are hereby constituted a separate coimty, 
and be called Racine, and the seat of justice of said county is 
hereby established at the Town of Racine. The Covmty of Racine 
shall be organized from and after the passage of this act, and the 
inhabitants thereof be entitled to all the rights and privileges to 
which by law the inhabitants of the other organized counties of 
this territory are entitled to; and the said county shall continue 
to be a part of the Third Judicial District and a District Court 
shall be held therein, at the seat of justice, at the court-house or 
such other place as may be provided. Two terms of the District 
Court shall be held annually after the organization of said county, 
on the first Monday in July and third IMonday in November; and 
the several acts concerning the District Courts in the Territory 
of Wisconsin shall l)e and they are hereby made applicable to the 
District Court of the County of Racine; and the Counties of Wal- 
worth and Rock shall be and are hereby attached to the Coimty 
of Racine for judicial purposes." 

By tracing the boundaries as above described on a sectional 
map of Eastern Wisconsin, the reader will notice that the present 
county of Kenosha was embraced therein. That county remained 
a part of Racine until January 30, 1850, when (Jovernor Nelson 
Dewey approved an act. Section 1 of which reads as follows: 

"All that part of the present County of Racine lying within 
the following boundaries, to wit: Connnencing at the southwest 
corner of said county, and i-unning thence east on the state line 
to the C(!nter of Lake Michigan and the southeast corner of said 
county; thence northerly through the center of Lake Michigan 
to the town line between towns two and three; thence westerly 
on said town line to the eastern line of the present Town of Bur- 
lington; thence southerly on said eastern line of the Town of 
l>u)-litigton to the southeast corner thereof; thence westerly on 
the south line of the said Town of Burlington to the east line of 

Photo lurnishiil liy Rilliniis 

Pioneer of Racine 


the County of Walworth; thenco southerly on said east line of 
the Comity of Walworth to the jjlace of beoinnin<f, be and the 
same is hereby set off into a separate county to be called Ke- 

By that act Racine County was reduced to its present form 
and dimensions. When first erected in 1836, the county not only 
included the present County of Kenosha, but the Counties of 
i^ock and Walworth were attached to Racine for judicial and 
election purposes. 


The first election was held in the district composed of the 
Counties of Racine, Kenosha, Rock and Walworth on Api'il 4, 
1837. The board of elections consisted of the justices of the 
peace, who had been previously appointed in the different locali- 
ties. Joel Sage was chairman of the board; Walter Cooley, clerk; 
and the other members were Samuel Hale, Jr., Eldad Smith, Rich- 
ard Miller, Hiram Ball and Alfred Cary. William H. Waterman 
was elected register of deeds; Eugene Gillespie, treasurer; A. W. 
Doolittle, district surveyor; Alvin Raymond, coroner; Benjamin 
F. Barker, Isaac Butler and Samuel Hale, Jr., supervisors (com- 
missioners); David D. Wells, tax collector; William Luce, Lemuel 
Smith, Cephas Weed and Seneca Raymond, assessors; Benjamin 
C. Perce, Amma Clark and Sidney S. Derbyshire, school conunis- 
sioners; John Coggswell, town clerk; Walter Cooley, Elisha Ray- 
mond and Austin Kellogg, highway commissioners; Levi Blake, 
Orrin Jerome and Niles Bentley, fence viewers; Benjamin Felch 
and Walter Cooley, directors of the poor. In addition to these 
officers, thirteen constables were elected, viz.: L. R. Darling, 
Thomas Warner, Silas Peck, S. A. Walker, Henry Miller, William 
Holmes, Nelson Butler, Franklin Emerson, Daniel Salisbury, 
David D. Wells, Hiram Bennett, E. S. Blake and E. C. Duncan. 
The total number of votes cast at this election was 193, and thii-ty- 
seven officers were elected, hence nearly 20 per cent of the voting 
population was elected to office. 


A few days after the election, the supervisors, or commission- 
ers, as they were then called, met for the purpose of completing 
the organization of the county government. Their first act was 
to issue certificates of election to the above named officers. At 


tlii.s iiiet'tiug, wiiirh was hold at Racine, it was voted to hold the 
next annual town meeting at the house of Benjamin Feleh, in the 
Pike River settlement, "provided the county is not divided into 
townships prior to the date of said meeting." The officers to whom 
election certificates were issued immediately entered ujDon the 
duties of their respective positions, and Racine County had a 
goverimient of its (»wn. David D. Wells failed for sonic reason to 
perform the duties of tax collector, and a special election was 
called at the house of Charles Leet on October 9, 1837, for the 
])ur])ose of electing his successor. Albert 0. Knight was elected. 

Dui'ing the summer of 1837, the principal business of the 
board of commissioners was the hearing of petitions for the open- 
ing of I'oads, highways being, perhaps, the greatest necessity of 
the new county. Roads were ordered to be opened from the Town 
of Racine to the United States Road; from Racine to William 
See's saw-mill at the Rapids; from the house of William Bull to 
See's saw-mill, and thence to the north line of the county; be- 
tween Racine and Pike River, and from Racine to Rochester, as 
well as several others of less importance. 

Although no record of an election in 1837, except the one 
already mentioned, is in existence, when the board met at the 
second annual meeting on April 2, 1838, the commissioners were 
Samuel Hale, Jr., Hammond Marsh and Nathaniel Bell. The first 
Imsiness transacted at the meeting was the acceptance of the bond 
of Henry Cox, Jr., in the sum of $5,000 as county treasurer. Next 
came the division of the county into election precincts, designating 
the voting j^laces and appointing judges of election. The district 
so divided consisted of what are now the four Counties of Racine, 
Kenosha, Rock and Walworth, and it may be inter{>sting to the 
reader to know just where the voters of each settlement were 
to hold their elections, and who were the members of the election 
boards, so the list of voting places and judges is here reproduced: 

Pleasant Prairie (in the southeast corner of Kenosha 
County), election at the house of Daniel Stevens; John Dexter, 
Abel W. Dimmick and Alvin 0. French, judges. 

Salem (also in Kenosha County), election at the house of 
John Bullen; Gilbert R. Lindsay, Asahel Benham and John Bul- 
len, judges. 

Foxvillc (in the Town of Rochester), election at the house of 


Ruel Xiiiis; Origt'ii Perkins, Silas Peck and Stephen J. Bnshnell, 

Village of Rochester, election at the house of George E. Dun- 
can; Joseph Call, Levi Godfrey and Martin C. Whitman, judges. 

Mount Pleasant, election at the house of Poland Ives; Isaac 
Butler, Zadock Newman and Chauncey Kellogg, judges. 

Town of Racine, election at the Racine House; Lorenzo Janes, 
Eldad Smith and Alfred Gary, judges. 

Southport (now Kenosha), election at the school house in 
the village: Hiram Ball. Benjamin Felch and William BuUen, 

Geneva (in Walworth County), election at the house of 
Greenleaf S. Warren; Israel Williams, Daniel E. Bradley and 
Greenleaf S. Warren, judges. 

Delavan (in Walworth County), election at the house of Sam- 
uel F. Phoenix; Luke Taylor, William Hollingshead and William 
Phoenix, judges. 

Elkhorn (in Walworth County), election at the house of Asa 
Blood; Joseph Bowman, Samuel Miller and Henry Rosecrantz, 

Troy (in Walworth County), election at the house of Othney 
Beardsley; Adolphus Spoor, Jesse Meacham and Robert Hibbard, 

Spring Prairie (in Walworth County), election at the house 
of A. A. Hemenway; Peter Merrick, Isaac Williams and David 
Pratt, judges. 

Beloit (in Rock County), election at the public house in the 
village; Nathan Hackett, James E. Field and Dr. White, judges. 

Janesville (in Rock Comity), election at the public house 
kept by Mr. Nevins; Hiram Brown, Daniel Smiley and Henry F. 
Janes, judges. 


The first financial statement of Racine County available is 
the report of the county treasurer, Henry F. Cox, Jr., which was 
filed with the board of commissioners on January 8, 1839, and 
covered the transactions of the preceding year. It showed the 
total receipts to have been $2,985.83, which included a balance 
of $27.71 turned over to him by Eugene Gillespie, and the dis- 
])ursements amounted to $2,914.44, leaving a balance of $71.39 in 
the treasury. Just think of the four populous and wealthy Coun- 


ties of Southoastern Wisconsin yielding a total revenue of less 
than three thousand dollars in 1838, and ('()ni]);ire the statement 
of Treasurer Cox with the tax levy of the hoard (»f eounty super- 
visors of Racine County alone for the year 1015, when the total 
amounted to $325,191.49, or more than one hundred times as nmeh 
as was paid hy the four counties seventy-eight years ago. 


And now comes aii event that was of vital importance to the 
settlers of Racine County. The government survey was completed 
in 1837, and President Van Buren issued an order for a puhlic 
sale of the lands at Milwaukee in the fall of 1838. In the event 
the lands were not sold at auction, they were to hecome subject 
to personal entry. Many of the settlers, who, it must be remem- 
bered, were technically trespassers, had made valuable improve- 
ments, and there was danger that many of them would lose all 
the results of their la))or, in cons(M]uence of not having the ready 
cash to bid in their claims. In this emergency a plan was hit 
upon to raise the necessary fimds. A public meeting was held, 
at which it was resolved that all the settlers of the covmty should 
enter into an agreement to mortgage their lands, after procuring 
the title therefor, and that delegates be sent to the eastern cities 
with these agreements to negotiate a loan of $50,000. Nearly 
(wery settler signed the agreement, a full list of the names, with 
the value of the improvements each one had made, was prepared, 
as well as the amount of money each settler required to purchase 
his claim. These lists and agreements were placed in the hands 
of Michael Myers and Nathan Joy as the delegates, but after 
several weeks' absence they returned with the disheartening in- 
formation that not a single dollar coiild be borrowed upon any 
or all the lands in Racine County. Fortmiately, the sale was post- 
poned from November, 1838, to the spring of 1839, which gave 
the squatters a little more time to make their ])reparations. The 
following extract, descriptive of the conditions and incidents 
attending the land sale, is taken from the pamphlet of 1842, 
already quoted in the early part of this chapter: 

"Many are the ominous indications of its approach among 
the settlers. Every dollar is sacredly treasured up. The precious 
'niint-dro])s' take to themselves wings and fly away from the 
merchant's till to the farmer's cupboard. Times are didl in the 


towns, for the settler's home is dearer and sweeter than the mer- 
chant's suj^ar and eoffee. At length the wished-for day arrives. 
The snl)nrbs of tlie town have all the appearances of a military 
camp. The settlei's have fldcked from far and neai'. The hotels 
are thronged to overflowing. Bar-rooms, dining-rooms and wag- 
ons are metamorjihosed into ])ed-rooms. Dinners are eaten from 
a table or a stnmp, and thirst is qnenehed fi'om a bar or a brook. 
The sale being announced from the land office, the township ])id- 
der stands near l)y with the registry Ixxtk in his hand, in which 
each settler's name is attached to his respective half or quarter 
section, and thus he bids off. in the name of the whole township, 
for each respective claimant. A thousand settlers are standing 
by, eagerly listening when their quarter shall be called off. The 
crier passes the well known numbers; his home is secure. He 
feels relieved, for the litigation of 'claim jmnping' is over forever. 
He is lord of the soil. With an independent step he walks into 
tlac land office, opens the time-worn saddlebags and counts out 
$200 or $400, silver and gold, takes his certificate from the Gen- 
eral Government and goes away rejoicing." 

The minimum value fixed by the Government was $1.25 per 
acre. No bid less than that |n'ice Avould be entertained, and the 
settlers turned out in large numbers to sec that speculators and 
land-grabbers did not take advantage of the actual settlers by 
bidding higher prices. If such a bidder appeared upon the scene, 
he was quickly made to understand that his competitive bidding 
would not be tolerated. If he failed to heed the warning and 
])ersisted in "running up the price," he was hustled away with 
more haste than ceremony. Yet, when one takes into considera- 
tion the fact that more than five thousand inhabitants dwelt 
within the district sold at IVlilwaukee in the spring of 1839; that 
many improvements had been made upon fanns; that villages 
had been founded; that mills and factories had been built, and all 
without legal title to the lands, it is surprising that so few serious 
difficidties were encoimtered. 


The first court-house in Racine County was built by Captain 
Gilbert Knapp and his associates, the original claimants to the 
site of the city as squatters. A few months before the passage 
of the act creating the county. Captain Knapp, not being fidly 


satisfied as to liis ri<iiits to tlic lands upon which he had stalled 
his claim, procured from Jacques and Louis Vaux a "float" title, 
based upon a receipt froiu the receiver of the land office, dated 
June 19, 1834, under the pre-emption act of that year. On July 
25, 1836, Jacques Vaux assigned his receipt to Gurdon S. Hub- 
bard, covering that part of the town site north of the Root River, 
and the same day Louis Vaux assigned to Mr. Hubbard his receipt 
for that portion south of the river. 

In the winter of 1835-36 Racine had been laid out into blocks 
;iik1 lots. A little later Congress passed an act jiroviding "That 
no right of pre-emption shall be granted to actual settlers upon 
lands Avithin the limits of any incorporated town, or to any por- 
tion of lands which have been actually selected as sites for cities 
or towns, or specially occupied or reserved for town lots." 

Under this act the float title to the village site was declared 
to be invalid, notwithstanding Louis and Jacques Vaux had ob- 
tained said title some two years prior to the passage of the act, 
and some good lawyers maintained that the decision was of an 
ex post facto character. But the Territorial Legislature of Wis- 
consin found a way out of the difficulty. By an act of Congress, 
approved by President Monroe on May 26, 1824, any county in 
the United States was given the right to select and pre-empt a 
quarter section for a seat of justice. By the organic act of De- 
cember 7, 1836, the seat of justice of Racine County was located 
at Racine, though the county did not exercise its right to pre- 
empt the site. Pursuant t(» the ])ro visions of the act of May 26, 
1824, he Legislature of the Territory of Wisconsin, on January 
2, 1838, enacted a law authorizing the county commissioners of 
Racine County "to sell and convey the right and title of the 
county, in ancl to the east fractional half of Section 9 to Gilbert 
Kna]ip, his heirs and assigns, upon his paying to the board, within 
two years from the date of conveyance, at the rate of ten dollars 
per acre therefor, with ten per cent interest." 

The act further provided that the county commissioners 
should inunediately enter the land and secure the pre-emption to 
which the county was entitled, and that the money received from 
Ca])tain Knapp should be expended in the erection of county 
buildings, according to the act of Congress. . 

For some reason not plain, the county authorities failed to 
carrv the law into effect literally, though an arrangement was 


rt'aclu'd in IS:!!), Iiy wliicli the (irii;iii;il |i|-(i|n'ict(irs (if the town — 
Knapp, Hiihli.ii'd .-ind l^arker — wove in erect, nv eniise to be 
oi'octed, county huildinus, "c<insistinu of ,1 coui't-liouse, a jail. 
and a building; toi' county oHices," and upon tlie completion of 
such buildings, to the satisfaction of the board of county eonnnis- 
sioners. they were to convey the county's interest in the town 
site to the original claimants. Tnnnediately after this agreement 
was entei-ed into, a conti'act was awarded to William H. Water- 
man and Roswell Morris to Imild a coui't-house. which was com 
pleted early in the year 1840. 

Tlie court-house built by Waterman & Morris continued in 
use until tlu' present structure was erected, though in 1842 a 
supplementary ])uilding was constructed for the offices of clerk 
and register of deeds. In the fall of 1875 the board of su])ervisors 
took the iirst ste])s towai'd the erection of a new court-house. 
The board at that time was composed of W. W. Vaughan (chair- 
man), James Hay, M. T. Hayes, W. B. Stetson, J. T. Rice, L. C. 
Klein, H. T. Taylor, Michael Savage, H. W. Wright, T. Powers, 
Adam Apple, John BoTistow, W. C. Smith. J. R. Brown and J. O. 
Bartlett. H. C. Koch, an archite<'t of Milwaukee, was employed 
to make plans and the contractors were John Bentley & Son. The 
cornerstone was laid with a])pi'opriate cei'emonies on Jidy 4, 1876, 
and the building was completed in Fel)ruary, 1877. Its cost was 
$P>9.450 and about five thousand dollars were ex])ended for furni- 
ture and fixtures for the various offices. 

A movement for a new court-house was started in 1911, and 
liell, Tyrie & Chapman, a firm of architects in Minneapolis, Min- 
nesota, submitted plans for a building to cost $165,000. The plans 
were accepted by the board, but the ])ro]iosition to build was 
afterward reconsidered and the old court-house was remodeled 
so that it will accommodate the business of the county for several 
years before a new one will be actually necessary. 


The first jail in Racine County was a rough but substantial 
l(»g building, wliidi was erected on the west side of the public 
square in 1837. Four years later Captain Knapp and his asso- 
ciates built a new jail, in connection with the old log jail, which 
served the county for several years, when a brick jail was erected 
on the square, northwest of the court-house. The great increase 


In population, with a corresponding increase in the number of 
prisoners confined in the jail at various times, made it apparent 
to th(> board of supervisors in 1890 that some other and better 
arrangements would have to be made for earing for prisoners. 
A committee was appointed on November 24, 1890, "to examine 
the structure known as the Racine County jail, to see if it was 
practicable to remodel it, so as to conform with the requirements 
of the state law, also to secure options on two or more convenient 
sites to build a new jail, and report at the November session 
in 1891." 

The committee made a thorough examination and advertised 
for proposals for a site for a new jail. On October 22, 1891, the 
State Board of Control visited the jail and practically condemned 
it as unfit for the purposes for which it was being used. On 
November 11, 1891, the board's committee reported that it was 
"neither practical nor expedient to expend money on the present 
structure, with a view of trying to conform with the state require- 
ments." Six sites had in the meantime been offered for a new 
jail. The board visited the various proposed sites and on No- 
vember 25, 1891, voted to accept the offer of J. W. Spence for 
the lot on the southeast corner of Fifth Street and College Ave- 
nue for $4,000. 

Nothing further toward the erection of a new jail was done 
until November 27, 1892, when Mr. Phillips offered a resolution 
to appropriate $2.5,000 for that purpose. Three days later a com- 
mittee reported a visit to the old jail, which they foinid "pure 
and sweet," and reconnnended "improvements to be made which 
may seem necessary to maintain our present state of cleanliness 
and purity." The report was adopted, but at the afternoon ses- 
sion of the special eon)mittee, to whom had been referred the 
matter of issuing bonds in the smn of $25,000 for a new jail, 
reported favoralil}' and the board ordered the bonds to be issued. 
On January 11, 1893, the plans for the new jail were submitted 
to the state board of control and were approved. Bids were then 
advertised for and on February 21, 1893, the contract for the 
erection of the jail and sheriff's residence, "according to the plans 
and specifications of J. G. Chandler," was awarded to Josiah 
Hocking for $20,889. On December 15, 1893, the architect, J. G. 
Chandler, reported that Mr. Hocking had completed the building 
"acccn-ding to the ])lans, specifications and contract." Some 


extras were allowed, which brought the total cost of the jail and 
sheriff's residence up to $21,3491)6. 

A history of the poor farm and the county insane asylum will 
be found in the chapter on Charitable Institutions, and events 
connected with political history and financial mattei^s will be 
found in other chapters. In this chapter the object has been to 
give an account of the conditions immediately preceding the 
organization of the county, the introduction of civil government, 
the erection of public buildings, etc. How well that object has 
been carried out the reader must determine. 





Townships in the United States are of two classes — con- 
gressional and civil. The congressional township forms the basis 
of land descri])tioiis and records. Theoretically, it is six miles 
square, bounded by township and range lines, and divided into 
thirty-six sections, each one mile square and containing 640 acres. 
But sometimes the converging meridians of longitude, or an eri-or 
on the part of the survevoi', results in a township of this class 
being slightly larger or smaller than six miles square, thus causing 
"fractional sections" to appear in the records. The civil town- 
ship is a political subdivision and, while it frequently corresponds 
in extent to a congressional townshij), its boundaries are not con- 
fined to the lines of the government survey. Natural features, 
such as rivers and creeks, often form the boundaries of a civil 
township. Another difference is that the civil township is dis- 
tinguished by a name, while the congressional township is always 
described by the number of township and range lines. 

The civil townshi]) is the older of the two. Soon after the 
Pilgrim Fathers settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. 
they began to develop a system of local government, modeled after 
that of the Anglo-Saxon "tunscipe," which had been copied after 
the Teutonic "mai'k." In both the mark and the tunscipe the 
people cfmstituted the source of all political power, so far as local 
questions were concerned. The "tunmoot," or town meeting, of 
the Anglo-Saxon gave every citizen of the tunscipe an opportunity 
to express his \aews, and the "tunreeve," or headman, was bound 
to cariT out the wishes of the people. The tumnoot was trans- 
])lanted to New England soon after the lirst settlements were 
founded in that section. The first town meetings in this counti'v 


were held in the settlements of Plymouth, Boston and Salem, 
Massachusetts. Other settlements copied the system and during 
the colonial period of American history the town meeting, or 
"folkmoot," as it was sometimes called, was a distinguishing 
feature of New England. Fiske says that the form of local gov- 
ernment adopted by the New England colonies was the nearest 
approach to a pure democracy ever known. 

In the beginning the township meant "merely a tract of land 
granted to persons who intended there to settle a town and gather 
a church." After the settlement was started it was called the 
"town" and the outlying or unsettled portions of the grant were 
called the "township," but after a time the two tenns came to 
be used synon>nnously. These grants or townships were incor- 
porated by the colonial authorities and given well defined powers. 
In the town meeting the people were empowered to elect officers, 
called selectmen, to manage the affairs of the township; a field 
reeve, whose duty it was to impound stray animals until the 
owner could be foimd; the hog reeve, who was charged with the 
task of seeing that every hog running at large had a ring in its 
nose; and a constable, who was to enforce the mandates of the 
selectmen. In some settlements the selectmen made it the duty of 
the constable to "tickle the noses of those who were inclined to 
go to sleep during church services, and keep them awake for the 
good of their souls." The town meeting also levied taxes, made 
appropriations for the support of schools and the building of 
roads, etc. The famous military organization known as the 
"Minute ISIen" had its origin in the town meeting. Some of the 
resolutions adopted by the town meetings of the New England 
colonies contained the germs of liberty which afterward found 
expression in the Declaration of Independence. As an example 
of the influence wielded l)y the town meeting, note what Thomas 
Jefferson said of it in 1807: "How powerfully did we feel the 
energy of this organization in the case of the Embargo. I felt 
the foundations of government shaken under my feet by the New 
England townships. There was not an individual in their states 
whose body was not thro's\ai with all its momentum into action, 
and although the whole of the other states were known to be in 
favor of the measure, yet the organization of this selfish com- 
munity enabled it to overrule the Union." 

Notwithstanding this defeat of the purposes of the Embargo 




Act, and in the end of the act itself, Jefferson says of the town 
meetings : "They have proved themselves the wisest invention 
ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self- 
government and for its preservation." 

In establishing the township system in New England, town 
meetings were at first held fi-equently. Some of the settlers, who 
were busily engaged in the work of developing the resources of 
the new country, complained that this took up too much of their 
time and an annual meeting was ordered, with the provision that 
special meetings could be called whenever necessary to decide 
some impoi'tant question. Boston did not abandon this form 
of local government until 1820, when the seven thousand voters 
of the city made the town meeting such an unwieldy institution 
that representative government was introduced. The principle 
of representative township, county and municipal government 
was first worked out and applied in the State of New York. From 
that state it worked its way westward and southward. In the 
Southern States the county is the unit of local government and 
the township is practically imknown. In the states of the Mis- 
sissippi Valley the township system is a combination of the New 
England and New York ideas. As the New England town meet- 
ing elected delegates to the General Court, or Assembly, so each 
civil township in the State of Wisconsin elects a supervisor, who 
becomes a member of the county board. This county board cor- 
respcmds in many of its essentials to the General Court of New 
England. Racine County is divided into nine civil townships 
(called towns), to wit: Burlington, Caledonia, Dover, Mount 
Pleasant. Norway, Raymond, Rochester, Waterford and York- 


This township occupies the southwest corner of the county. 
On the north it is bounded by the Town of Rochester; on the 
east by Dover Township and Kenosha County; on the south by 
Kenosha County, and on the west by the County of Walworth. 
It is six miles, wide from east to west and seven miles in extent 
from north to south, having an area of forty-two squares miles. 
The surface is pleasantly diversified, the Fox River flowing from 
north to south through the central portion, and in this township 
are three pretty lakes — Long, Brown's and Bonner's. 

The settlement of the township began about the middle of 


Dccciubi'i', 18:55, wIr'Ii Muses Smith ami William Whiting located 
claims near the present City of Burlington, Whiting selecting his 
claim (111 the cast side of the Fox Kivcr and Smith on the west 
side, near the place where the Perkins mill was afterward erected. 
Their claims were what the ])ioneers called "jack-knife" claims. 
the lioiuidai-ies being marked by cutting their names in the bark 
of trees, with the date when the claim was made. Such a title 
would hardly have been respected some years later, but in 1885 
land was ])leiitiful and new comers had no difficulty in locating 
claims without infringing Tipon the possessions of their neighbors. 

Smith and Whiting were soon afterward joined by B. C. Perce 
and Lemuel Smith. Judge Charles E. Dyer, in an address deliv- 
ered before the Old Settlers' Society at Burlingt<»n, February 22. 
1871. says: "On the 27th of December, 1835, Moses Smith, Wil- 
liam Whiting, 1>. C. Perce and Lemuel Smith built a shanty in a 
little grove in the river bend on the east side of the Fox River. 
They cut a large white oak tree neai' whei'c Ahith's Brewery 
now stands, built a i-ude log hut on the present farm of David 
Bushnell, spent three days prospecting and surveying on both 
sides of the river, and iinally constructed a cabin on the \\est 

The following month Enoch D. Woodbridge settled on the 
east side of the river and built the body of a log hcmse, which was 
afterward completed and became part of the tavern kept by Rnel 
Nims. in February, 1836, Nathan H. Darling made a claim on 
what was afterward known as the Rookei' farm. He was acting 
as the agent of Nelson K. Norton, who perfected the title and 
im])roved the claim. Other settlers of 183(i were: James Nelson, 
David Bushnell, Origen Perkins, lleman Loomis, Silas Peck, 
Greorge Newman, Charles and Jared Fox. 

.lames Nelson came in May and built a log house and a blatdv- 
smith shoj) on the east side of the river, near where Durgin's 
bi'idge was afterward thrown across the stream. He was the 
first blacksmith to ply his trade in that pai-t of Racine County. 
David r.iishnell came in Jidy and his first I'csidence was the log 
hilt which had been built by \¥hiting, Perce and the Smiths the 
previous winter. This he reconstructed and lived in it until he 
could e]-(!ct a better house. It seems that all the parties inter- 
ested in building this hut had abandoned their claim except Whit- 
ing, whose interest was purchased by IMr. Bushnell, and at the 


land sales in 18:]9 the land was bonyht by StephcMi Bushnell. 
Oriuen Perkins located his elaini in An.ynst and hnilt a hxj; house, 
to which he bn)Ui;lit his family early the following year. ll('nian 
Loomis came in September and located a claim southeast of the 
present City of Burlington, which claim afterward became known 
as the Loomis farm. Silas Peck arrived with his family a little 
later and built his cabin on the claim adjoining that of B. C. Perce, 
(ieorge Newman and the Foxes came later in the year. 

Among those who came to Burlington in 1838 were: William 
F. Lyon, Ruel Nims, Stephen Bushnell, Pliny M. Perkins, Sam- 
uel r. Vaughan and Lewis Royce. Mr. Lyon remained but a few- 
months, at the end of which time he removed to Walworth 
County. Ruel Nims acquired the log house that had been started 
by Mr. Woodbridge two years before, occupying it for the first 
time on January 10, 1837. He subsequently opened a tavern — 
the first established house for the entertainment of travelers in 
Burlington. Stephen Bushnell came in March and afterward 
purchased the land claimed by David Bushnell as above stated. 
Pliny M. Perkins first came in May, bi-inging a drove of hogs 
and cattle from Joliet, Illinois, but did not become a resident at 
that time. He returned the following year, however, and took 
a claim. Sanuiel C. Vaughan formed a partnership with Moses 
Smith and they built the first mill, which was known as the "up 
and down saw-mill." The mill building is said to have been the 
first frame structure in Burlington. Lewis Royce was a New Eng- 
lander. He arrived in Burlington on the first day of September 
and soon afterward established a lime kiln, burning about three 
hundred bushels before the close of the year. Mr. Royce was the 
first lawyer to locate in Burlington, but there were few lawsuits 
in those days and he found his lime kiln more productive than 
the practice of his profession, though he was learned in the law. 

The year 1838 witnessed the ai-rival of Liberty Fisk, Ephraim 
S. Sawyer, Heiu'y Edmonds, Nelson R. Norton and a few others. 
Mr. Norton came in February and took possession of his claim 
that had been made for him two years before by Nathan H. Dar- 
ling. Li the spring following he built a frame house, bringing 
llie lumber from Chicago, where he had formerly lived. It is 
said that he built the fii-st bridge over the Chicago River. Mr. 
Sawyer bought 275 acres of land at the land sale and lived upon 
Ills fann for many years. Henry Edmonds built a small log black- 


smith shop near the mill. The first school in the town of Bur- 
lington was taught in the summer of 1838 by Sarah Bacon. 

The first towns (townships) in Racine County were estab- 
lished by the act of January 2, 1838. Under the provisions of 
this act the territory now comjirising the Town of Burlington 
was included in the Town of Rochester. On March 9, 1839, Gov- 
ernor Henry Dodge approved "An act to establish certain to^^^ls 
in the Counties of Milwaukee, Brown, Racine and Walworth, and 
to provide for the election of officers therein." 

Section 21 of this act i^rovided: "That the comitrv Ixnnided 
on the north by the Towns of Rochester, on the east ]\y the Towns 
of Racine (Mount Pleasant) and Southport, on the south by 
the Town of Salem, and on the west by Walworth County, be, 
and the same is hereby set off into a separate town by the name 
of Burlington; and the polls of election shall be opened at the 
house of S. Nims." 

As originally created, the Town of Burlington included all 
the present Town of Dover, in Racine County, and a large part 
of the present ToAvn of Brighton, in Kenosha County. The re- 
turns of the election held at the house of Mr. Nims cannot be 
found, but it is known that Origen Perkins was the first justice 
of the peace. The following incident, illustrating "Squire" Per- 
kins' methods of transacting legal business, was told by Judge 
Dyer in his address to the Old Settlers' Society: "On one occa- 
sion a man called iipon him for a warrant with which to make 
an arrest. He found Mr. Perkins digging a ditch. The complaint 
must be made then and there, but the justice had neither paper, 
pen nor ink. Perhaps Mr. P. did not deem the offense a very 
grave one, but in the emergency of the case he pulled off one of 
his boots, took from his pocket a piece of chalk, wrote the com- 
plainant's statement on the boot leg, made him hold up his hand 
and swear to it, and then told him he would issue a warrant as 
soon as he went to the house." 

The first white child born in the town was a son of George 
Newman, who was born in May or June, 1837. The first marriage 
was that of William McLaughlin and Amanda (or Alvira) Hayes. 
Mrs. McLaughlin died a few months after her marriage and was 
the first white ])erson to die in the township. The first crop of 
grain was harvested by Moses Smith, in 1837, and in the fall of 
that year the first bridge was built over the Fox River, It was 




floored with hewn logs. The first scliool house was built in 1839. 
For several years the growth of Burlington was "slow but 
sure," but with the completion of the Racine, Janesville & 
Mississippi (now the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul) Railroad 
to the Village of Burlington in 1855 the development was more 
rapid. Burlington is now one of the most ]Mipulous and wealthy 
townships in the county. In 1910 the population, exclusive of 
the City of Burlington, was 1,129, and in 1915 the property (not 
including the city) was valued for tax purposes at $2,871,043. A 
history of the City of Burlington will be found in Chapter VIIT. 


The Town of Caledonia is situated in the northeast corner of 
the county. On the north it is bounded by Milwaukee County; 
(•n the east by Lake Michigan; on the south by the Town (^f ]Mount 
Pleasant, and on the west by the Town of Ra^nnond. It includes 
all of Congressional Township No. 4, Range 22, and fractional 
Township No. 4, Range 23, having an area of about fifty square 
miles. The Root River flows in a southeastwardly direction 
through Caledonia, and with its tributaries affords good natural 
drainage to the township. 

Elam Beardsley always claimed to have been the first settler 
ill the town, though it is quite probable that John Davis was the 
first to "stake out" a claim. Mr. Beardsley came to the county 
in January, 1835, and his wife was the first white woman to be- 
come a resident of the county. He and John Davis both settled 
in Caledonia early in that year. Not far behind them came Levi 
Blake and his three sons — C. H., E. S. and Lucius S. Blake. 
Judge Dyer relates the following adventures of the Blakes in 
looking for a home in Wisconsin: 

"They set out from their home near Niles, Michigan, for — 
some place, they scarcely knew where. They arrived at Chicago 
on the 10th of February, where they provided themselves with 
supplies, and a Mackinac blanket. They left Chicago and at 
night arrived at Grosse Point, eighteen miles north, and were 
hos]ntably entertained by the French traders. The next moniing 
they set out for the next point of prominence, which was Skunk 
Grove. It was a cold winter's day. The snow obscured the trail 
on which they were traveling, and they had a long, long, weary 
day, with apprehensions of a still more dreary night. Night found 


them in a liiMvc ab(»ut thrcf iiiik's west of the present City of 
Wauk(\uan. The cold was intense; they kindled a fire with the 
last iiiatcli that was left them. They spent the night standing 
aininid the tire and constructing, a sled. In the morning, leaving 
behind them their wagon, they i)roceeded on their journey. At 
noon their eyes were delighted with the sight of a human being 
leading a pony. On his approach, he informed them that he and 
the ]>nuy were the United States route agents, on tlie way fi-oni 
<'liicag(i to (ireen Bay with the mail. He gave them directions 
and informed of the landmarks that would guide them to Skunk 
(irove. wliicli they reached after the darkness of night had fallen 
on them, and after nuich suffering from the severity of the 

"Arriving at the trading post at Skunk (Irove, they were 
the recijjicnts of the hospitality of Jacques Jambeau and his 
s(piaw. and remained over night. On the next morning they 
began explorations for a place to locate. At a point on the river, 
three miles northwesterly from Jandjeau's, they foimd John 
Davis, Avho had entered a claim and was residing upon it. They 
remained with him several days and looked over the country. 
The representations of the country which they had heard from 
others proved truthful. They took exceptions only to the cli- 
mate, but Mr. L. S. Blake thinks the winter of 1835-36 the coldest 
he ever experienced in Wisconsin. 

"On the loth day of February they made their claim. They 
staked out, as they supposed. I'uough land for four; but when 
the survey was made, it was found that they had cmly secured a 
sufficient (juantity of land for two claims. They then visited the 
Kapids and found there Mr. See, who was building his mill. Upon 
returning to their claim, they built a log shanty without a window 
in it. They soon returned to Michigan and I'emoved to Chicago, 
whei'c the family lived for two years. Meanwhile, Lucius S. Blake 
and liis bi'other. A. H. Blake, came back to the claim and resided 
in tlieii' cabin two seasons. They plowed a ])ortion of the land, 
made some fencing, and held the claim by actual occupancy until 
Levi Blake removed to it with his family in the fall of 1837. 
Captain IJIake's capacious log house, which he built on his prem- 
ises, was a landmark in the country. It was always open to the 
settlers and the hospitality of its proprietor gave it the appro- 

II IS TORN' ()[■ RACIXK (OrNTY 10'' 

lii'iat(> uamo of 'Oni' House.'' Tlic farm now oaviuhI Ity -laiiios 
Wilson constituted a part of the Blake claim." 

Early in 1835 Edward Bradley and his brother located claims 
ill Caledonia. Walter Cooley came to Racine in May, IB)');"), and 
The t'ollowinii September located in Tnledonia, accompanied by 
Kldad Smith and Elisha Raymond. Sr., and his family. Eai'ly in 
IcSlJG Mr. Cooley discovered that he had located on another man's 
i-laim and removed to another tract, which he occupied for a nuni- 
))ei of years and after removint;' to the city of Racine called it 
his country home. 

Eldad Smith built a ])eculiai- looking; house by rollini;' some 
lo.i^s together and putting on a roof made of white oak boards. 
\\'hile it was not an architectural masterpiece, it served to pro- 
tect the inmates from the cold winds that came from Lake Michi- 
gan. ^Iv. Smith broiight two barrels of flour from Chicago that 
fall, and enough other ju'ovisions to last the family through the 
winter. He occupied this house for the first time on November 1, 
1835. and lived there until 1841, when he removed to the Village 
nf Racine. During the winter of 1835-36, three bands of Potawat- 
(•mi Indians encamped near his house and the wolves caused him 
some annoyance. But to offset these undesirable neighbors, Mr. 
Smith said that in those days they had neither rats, beggars nor 
thieves in the new settlement. 

Other settlers who came to Caledonia in 1835, or early in the 
year 1836, were: Hugh and Hiram Bennett, Tristam Davis, 
Simeon, Isaac and Thomas Butler, Sheridan Kimball, Daniel 
Wooster and his son Adney, Joseph Adams, John Wheeler, 
Joseph Cannon, Ezra Beardsley (father of Elam), Tra Hurlbut, 
the Fowler and Stillman families, and a few others. 

In the summer of 1835, Sheridan Kimball, then living in 
Chicago, heard of a settlement on the Root River that offered 
splendid o]>portunities to those seeking homes in Wisconsin. The 
following December, accomjjanied by Stephen Sandford, Sanford 
Blake and anothei- man, he set out for the Root River country. 
The first night out from Chicago they stayed at Petterson's tav- 
ern, having made only about eight miles, and the next morning 
resumed their journey upon a new wagon road through the woods. 
This road had previously been an Indian trail, and as they jour- 
neyed along they noted the coffin of a dead Indian child among 
the branches of a tree by the roadside. That night they reached 


Sunderland's tavern and late on the afternoon of the next day- 
arrived in the Root River settlement. Taking breakfast the next 
morning with John Davis, they went on to the house of C. H. 
Blake, where they rested awhile, and then pushed on to the house 
of S^^nmes (or Simeon) Butler, on a small stream called Hoosier 
Creek. There they passed the night and when they were pre- 
paring to leave the next morning Mrs. Butler said: "When you 
get out in the woods, you will know the reason why my husband 
is so ragged; he has been running through the woods so much he 
has left a rag on every bush." Mr. Butler may have been ragged, 
but he was hospitable, and that morning guided the party to a 
district where they could locate claims. 

Mr. Kimball selected a claim and in February, 1836, went 
to Chicago to bring his parents to the Root River. Leonard Kim- 
ball, a brother of Sheridan, came in advance to make preparations. 
About the middle of March the family left Chicago with a wagon 
drawn by three yoke of oxen and were two weeks on the road. 
Mr. Kimball's first house in Racine County was a rude cabin, with 
shake roof, stone chinmey and a floor of elm bark. At the land 
sale in 1839 he acquired a perfect title to his land, built a better 
house and lived there for several years, when he removed to the 
City of Racine. 

Daniel Wooster and his son, previously mentioned, left the 
Town of Derby, Connecticut, on New Year's Day, 1835, to seek 
a location somewhere in the West, where he could make a home 
for himself and family. Traveling with a team and wagon through 
New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, 
he reached the Root River settlement in March and located in 
what is now the Town of Caledonia. A little later his son Jvilius 
and the other members of the family came via Buffalo and around 
the lakes. Daniel Wooster lived in Caledonia until his death, 
which occurred in 1867. 

Among those who settled in Caledonia in 1836 were : William 
and Luther R. Sears, James Bussey, Joel and Emanuel Horner, 
Alexander Logan, Thomas Spencer and Rev. Cyrus Nichols. 
Judge Dyer says that Mr. Nichols "had previously lived in Mis- 
souri, and there had but one room in his house and that the 
kitchen. On coming to Wisconsin he resolved to have a parlor. 
He kept his resolution and had a parlor, and lived in it; but that 
was the only room in the house." Once, while conducting relig- 


ious services at Skunk Grove, he rebuked a number of the i)i()- 
ueers, who brounht their rifles with them to church, but the 
settlers felt that it was always well to be prepared for emergencies 
in a country where the Indians were likely to give trouble at any 
time and accepted the rebuke of the minister in a friendly spirit. 
In June, 1837, Daniel B. Rork came to Caledonia and bought 
the claim of Jacques Jambeau, the trader. Jambeau asked $2,000 
for it, but finally accepted $525. Mr. Rork had come to the Town 
of Burlington about a year before and made a claim, where the 
City of Burlington now stands. Other parties "jumped his 
claim," l)ut he succeeded in holding it and before removing to 
Caledonia sold it to Silas Peck for $200. Jambeau had fenced his 
claim in 1834 — the first claim, so it is believed, to be fenced east 
of the Rock River. 

The first white child born in this township was Maria, a 
daughter of Joseph Adams, her birth occurring on September 2, 

1835. She grew to womanhood in the county and married a man 
named Bacon. "William See's saw-mill at the Rapids was the 
first saw-mill in Racine County. The first drove of hogs brought 
to the town was brought by James Kinzie in January or February, 

1836. They were of the species known as "prairie racers," but 
they afforded the settlers an opportunity to supply themselves 
with pork. 

Section 5 of an act approved by Governor James D. Doty 
on February 7, 1842, pro^aded: "That all that part of the Towns 
of Racine and Mount Pleasant comprised in Town 4, in Range 22 
East, shall be and is hereby set off into a separate town by the 
name of Caledonia." The act also ordered that the first election 
should be held at the house of Levi Blake. 

Two lines of railroad pass through Caledonia — the Chicago & 
Northwestern, in the eastern part, and the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul, about five miles farther west. These lines connect 
Chicago and Milwaukee and afford excellent transportation facili- 
ties to the people of the town. The Chicago & ^Milwaukee Electric 
Railway also passes through Caledonia and its frequent trains 
give the people ample opportunity for visiting Racine, Milwaukee 
or Chicago. The popiilation of Caledonia in 1910 was 3,073, and 
the property was valued for taxation in 1915 at $5,409,081, 
exclusive of that lying within the limits of the incorporated Vil- 


\i\<j;r (if ("di'liss. wliicli is on the line brtwt'en Calcdoiiia and Mount 


Dovci' 'I'owiishii), one of the sontlicrn tier, is coextensive 
with ( 'on.nressional 'l^ownship No. 3, Ran,!ie 20 East. It is bounded 
on the north by the Town of Norway, east by Yorkville, south 
1)\' Kenosha Countv, and west bv the Towns of Burlington and 
b'oi-liester. Its area is thirty-six square miles. Eagle Lake is 
situated a little south of the center. Its outlet and the Muskego 
Creek, which crosses the northwest corner, are the only water- 
courses in the toAvnship. 

The first settlei- in Dover was Captain John T. Trowbridge, 
who brought his family, consisting of a wife and two sons, to 
Racine County in 1836. Prior to that time he had been a sea 
captain for some t\\('nty-five years, had been (nigaged in whaling, 
and had been a prisoner at Calcutta and Dartmoor. His two-story 
l(ig house, which he (>rected in the Town of Dover, became a land- 
mark and sheltered many a traveler over night. He laid out a 
town and named it Brighton, after the place from which he came, 
and was the first postmaster when an office was established there. 
He also served as justice of the peace and \vas a member of the 
lower branch of the Territorial Legislature in 1843. 

In August, 183(i, Samuel Ormiston and J. Sellers located 
claims near that of Captain Trowln-idge. Elizabeth, daughter of 
Mr. Ormiston, born November 12, 1838, was the first white child 
born in this townshijj. Mr. Sellers settled on the tract of land 
afterward known as the Bryce farm. -Judge Dyer tells the fol- 
lowing story of an experience that hap})ened to Mr. Sellers soon 
after taking up his residence in Racine County: "He started 
one morning to go to Pike Crove and on his journey called at the 
house of George Nichols, in Yorkville. He tarried l)ut a few 
jiioments and, bidding his friends 'good morning', set out on his 
travels. He journeyed to the end of the day and at evening found 
himself at the house of Mr. Nichols; nor could he be made to 
lt(li<'ve that he had not arrived at Pike Grove until he was intro- 
duced to the hospitalities of Mr. Nichols' cabin and was told that 
on a prairie without roads, guiding posts or human habitations, 
a bewildered traveler sometimes made a circuitous jonrney, arriv- 
ing at the precise ])lace from which he started." 


Duriiii; the next two years a ihuiiImt of settlers located in 
what is iKiw the 'I'liwii of Ddvcr. AiiKHiii,' them wci-c: .Inhii 
DuiTus, Ai'chibald Brown, Peter Manny, l^)bert Beatty, Thomas 
(Jreen. Cieorj^e and Robert MeKey, James Balloek (or Ballaeh), 
Aaron Putnam, Joseph Scott, James (iraham and William Cruik- 
shank. Samuel Stenhouse came a little later, some time in 1840. 

.lulin Duffus, Archibald Brown and Peter Manny selected 
rlainis tliat adjoined each other. Mr. Duffus built a cabin, or 
shanty, 10 by 12 feet in dimensions, on his claim, in which all 
three lived. 'NAlien his son and daughter arrived in March, 1839, 
they also found quarters in the shanty, giving it fiv(> i-egular 
inmates, with an occasional guest or two now and then. But there 
was "always room for one more" in the home of the pioneer, no 
matter how Inunble it might be. The shanty had no flooi- and 
the roof was a makeshift affair that afforded but little protection. 
Elsie Duffus did the cooking for the "men folks." One day, 
while she was baking bread, having just placed the dough in a 
skillet, which she set upon the coals in the fireplace, a sudden 
gust of wind carried away the roof. A heavy fall of rain followed 
and the family went without bread that day. Elsie Duffus after- 
ward became the wife of Nicholas D. Fratt, who was for many 
years prominently connected with the banking interests of Pacine. 
Her sister, Maragret Duft'us, married Peter Manny, their wedding 
being the first ever solemnized in the township. 

The writer has been imable to ascertain just when the Town 
of Dover was established as a separate jurisdiction, 1)nt it was 
some time subsequent to February 2, 1846, for on that date Gov- 
ernor Dodge approved an act defining the boundaries of the Town 
of Yorkville. which included the eastern half of the present Town 
of Dover. 

Dover Township is one of the most beautiful and fertile fann- 
ing sections of Racine County. The Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul (foi-merly the Western Union) Railroad crosses the 
southern portion and there are two stations within the town 
limits — Kansasville and Dover. The popidation in 1910 was 
820, and the assessed value of the property in 1915 was $2,377,787. 
or nearly three thousand dollars for each man, woman and child 
living in the township. 



AVlion the first civil townships in Racine County were created 
liy the act of January 2, 1838, all that part of the county in frac- 
tional Range 23 and two miles of Range 22, extending across the 
entire county from north to south, were included in a township 
known as Racine. By the same act the boundaries of the Town 
of Mount Pleasant were defined as follows: 

"Commencing at the southwest corner of the Town of Racine; 
thence due west to the southw'est corner of Township 3 North, 
of Range 21 East; thence north to the north line of Township 4; 
thence east to the northwest corner of the Town of Racine, and 
thence south to the place of heginning." 

The act also provided that the first election should be held 
at the house of George F. Robinson, in the Village of Mount Pleas- 
ant. The boundaries as above described were re-enacted on 
March 3, 1839. They included all the jiresent Towns of Raymond 
and Yorkville, and a strip four miles wide across the western part, 
of the Town of Caledonia. By the act of February 7, 1842, that 
part of the Town of Racine lying in Township 3 North, Ranges 
22 and 23 East, was added to Mount Pleasant and the northern 
part of the Town of Racine was added to Caledonia, which was 
then erected with its boundaries as they are at present. At the 
same time the Town of Yorkville was cut off from Mount Pleasant. 

If the present l^oimdaries be taken into consideration, the 
first settlers in Mount Pleasant were Captain Gilbert Knapp, 
the Luce brothers and the man, Welch, who came to the mouth of 
the Root River in November, 1834. Harrison K. Fay and a man 
named Carpenter settled at the Rapids soon afterward, where 
they were joined in January, 1835, by William See and Edmund 
Weed. Mr. See located at the Rapids, but Mr. Weed selected a 
tract of land that afterward became known as the Fratt fann. 
Carpenter soon afterward went to Captan Knap])'s claim and 
settled on the north side of the Root River, within the present 
corporate limits of the City of Racine, where he died a few months 
later. Judge Dyer says: "After his death, his widow removed 
I'lirtlu'r north and continued to occupy what ^vas long kncnvn 
among the old settlers as 'the Widow Carpenter's claim'." 

James Walker came to Racine on a vessel with Captain 
Kna])]) in April, 1835, and made a claim in Moimt Pleasant, where 
he Iniilt a calnn, ])urchased the land at the sale in the spring of 


1839 and lived upon his farm for many years. He made the coffin 
for Mr. Carpenter, who was the first white man to die within the 
limits of Mount Pleasant or Racine, and who was buried "on the 
bank of Duck Creek, in the deptlis of the forest." Mr. Walker 
established a turning- lathe at the Ra])ids, where William See 
erected a saw-mill and also laid the original foundation for the 
dam at that place. Mr. Walker was likewise a member of the 
first jury ever convened in Racine County. 

Early in 1836 Andrew Place and his son Thomas, with Alva 
and Zadock Newman, left Chicago with ox teams for Racine 
County, where Andrew Place and the Newmans had selected 
claims about a month before. At Grrosse Point they fell in with 
Daniel B. Rork and the whole company traveled together to Skunk 
Grove, where Thomas Place found employment with Jacques 
Jambeau as a clerk at the trading post. The following winter 
the elder Place and the Newmans went to St. Joseph, Michigan, 
for a supply of flour. Their oxen were slow travelers and they 
were gone for two months. In 1836 they went to a mill on the Fox 
River, a distance of sixty miles. Mr. Place used to describe the 
burial of an Indian chief which he witnessed. First, a pen was con- 
structed large enough for the body and chinked up with moistened 
clay and other material. Then the dead chief was placed therein, 
in a sitting posture, surrounded by some of the weapons and orna- 
ments of his race. The pen was left open and for some time after- 
ward the followers of the chief would visit the place, where they 
moaned and wept, jxiuring whiskey upon the head of the deceased 
as an offering to the (ireat Spirit. There were a large number 
of Potawatomi Indians then living in the neighborhood and they 
frequently visited the trading post. Twice a year they had their 
great corn dance, when fervent prayers were made to the Great 
Manitou for a good crop of corn. Near the present Mound Ceme- 
tery was an old Indian burying ground. 

In November, 1835. Alanson Filer, Samuel N. Basey, Silas 
Lloyd, Orville W. Barnes and one or two others settled in Mount 
Pleasant. About the same time James Kinzie came to the Rapids 
and became a partner of Mr. See in the saw-mill. Knapp, Hub- 
bard and Barker, who made the first claim at the county in 1834, 
also erected a saw-mill at the Rapids and brought a stock of goods 
to that place. The mill and store were both in "full blast" before 
the close of the year 1835. 


Wallace Mygatt settled at the place afterward known as 
•'Mviiatt's rornors" in the early part of 1836. He built a small 
frame house on an elevation, and on a clear day his residence 
could be seen for several miles, which led the other settlers to 
call it the light house. Philip R. and Henry Mygatt also came to 
the "Corners" not hmg after Wallace. In Jime, 1836, Nathan 
Joy came from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago in the first three- 
master that made a voyage around the lakes. From Chicago 
he came to Racine on a little schooner called the Llewellyn, and 
bought a claim in what is now Mount Pleasant. Another settler 
of 1836 was Lewis C Dole, who built a log house and conducted 
a tavern on the farm afterward owned by Orville W. Barnes. 

Among the settlers of 1837 were William Bull, Daniel Slau- 
son, Jonathan M. Snow and E. I). Filer. Mr. Snow had visited 
the country the preceding year and selected a claim near Dole's 
tavern, upon which he had built a frame house, or shanty. INIr. 
Bull remained but a short time in Mount Pleasant, when he 
removed to the Town of Caledonia. In the spring of 1839 he 
bought the claim of Mr. Snow, above mentioned, and became a 
I'csident of Mount Pleasant. Daniel Slauson purchased a claim 
from a sister-in-law of Sanmel Mars and planted some fruit trees 
••-probably the first orchard in the townshi]), if not in Racine 
County. Mr. Filer also bought a claim on which was a poorly 
constructed log house. As he could not find a cook-stove in 
Racine, he did his cooking over a fire kindled against the side of 
a log near his cabin. He afterward assisted in building the first 
court-house at Racine and in the construction of the harbor. One 
Sunday morning, in the dead of winter, Mr. Filei- took his rifle 
and started out to overtake a wolf that had been causing him some 
annoyance, but had not gone far Avhen he met an elder of the 
church, who remonstrated with him for going himting on Sunday. 
After Mr. Filer had explained the situation, the elder agreed that 
he might go on in pursuit of the wolf, on condition that he proved 
himself a good marksman and gave the elder a good dinner. He 
used to tell the story and laugh over how he bribed a good church 
member to permit hhn to "desecrate the Sabbath." 

The Town of Mount Pleasant occupies the southeast corner 
of the county. On the north it is boimded by the Town of Cale- 
<b)nia; on the east by I^ake IMichigan; on the south by Kenosha 
<'ounty and on the west by the Town of Yorkville. Its area is 


approximately fifty scpiare miles. The Root River flows in a 
southeasterly direction across the northeast corner, and the head- 
waters of Pike River are in the southei'n part. The City of 
Racine is located in this township and about six miles west of 
Racine is the incorporated Village of Corliss, at the crossing of 
two divisions of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. 
The population in 1910 was 4,219 (exclusive of Racine and Corliss) 
and the taxable property was vabuMl in 1915 at $7,479,335, with 
the same exceptions. 


The Town of Norway is one of the northern tier. Tt is 
hounded on the north by Milwaukee County; on the east by the 
Town of Raymond; on the south by Dover, and on the west by 
Waterford. Its area is thirty-six square miles, embracing Con- 
gressional Township 4 North, of Range 20 East. In the north- 
western part are three lakes, the lai'gest of which is Wind Lake. 
Muskego Creek, the outlet of Wind Lake, is the only watercourse 
of consequence in the township. It flows southwardly from the 
lake through Sections 16, 17, 20, 29 and 32, and crosses the south- 
ern boundary about a mile from the southwest corner. 

In September, 1838, Thomas Drought came from Lower Can- 
ada with a wagon and team of oxen seeking a new home in 
Wisconsin. After looking about for a few days he selected 160 
acres in Section 12. and Avas the first white man to settle in what 
is now Norway Townshiji. His sister came with him and other 
members of the family followed. They located near and thus 
what afterward became known as the "Drought Settlement" 
s})rang up in the northeast corner of Norway. James Ash located 
in the township in the fall of 1838 and Alfred Thompson and 
(Jeorge Drought came in the spring of 1839. 

Quite an addition was made to the ])opidati(m in the summer 
of 1839. A vessel arrived at Milwaukee with about forty Norwe- 
gians on board, who had heard in their native land of the won- 
derful opportunities offered in America and had come to seek 
their fortunes iii the New World. Before leaving Norway they 
had selected Illinois as their destination, but were detained at 
Milwaukee for a short time and there they were met by George 
Walker, who endeavored to persuade them to locate in Wisconsin. 
Mr. Walker was evidently something of a politician. Blessed 


with sood health and a ruddy appearance, he pointed out to the 
immigrants a man from Illinois who had been a victim of fever 
and ague to such an extent that his covmtenance was sallow and 
his figure somewhat emaciated, and argued that the climate was 
the cause of the difference. The Illinois man urged the Nor- 
wegians to adhere to their original intention, but Mr. Walker 
won the day. 

Unfortunately, their interpreter was accidentally drowned in 
the river at Milwaukee a few days after they landed, but they 
secured guides and sent out a party to look for a suitable location 
for the colony. This exploring party selected a site near Mus- 
kego Lake. Says Jvidge Dyer: "It was a dry season and the 
marshes resembled prairies in their appearance, surroimded by 
forests. Cabins soon sprang up on the hill sides aroimd the 
marshes, but the bright hopes of the settlers were quenched when 
the spring floods came and converted the promising prairie into 
lakes and morasses. This caused a removal of the colony further 
south and west. Mr. Halver Thompson settled on the banks of 
Wind Lake; John Nelson, another of the party, settled on an 
adjoining claim, which he improved considerably, and from which 
he subsequently removed to Koskenong Prairie." 

Soren Backe and Johannes Johansen, two intelligent Nor- 
wegians who came to this country in the fall of 1839 and spent 
the winter in Illinois, visited the Wind Lake settlement in the 
spring of 1840, with a view to bringing a number of their coun- 
trymen. The cluster of beautiful lakes were swarming with fish, 
the surrounding forests, in which there was an abundance of 
game, the fertile soil, and the presence of a Norwegian settlement 
already commenced, all met their approval. They built a cabin 
on the shore of one (if the lakes and sent word to their friends in 
Norway to come on. Early in the fall a large company of immi- 
grants arrived under the leadership of Evan Hansen — or Evan 
Hansen Heg, the name Heg having been derived from the place 
where the family lived in Norway, or the farm which they pos- 
sessed, which was known as "Headquarters." 

It seems that Soren Backe was possessed of a considerable 
sum of money, which he invested in a large tract of land. When 
the colonists arrived, he sold this land in small parcels to them 
(jn favoral)le terms. Among these colonists were : Ole Ander- 
sen, Hans and Peter Jacobsen, John Larsen, Niels H. Narum, 


Phuto furnished by Billin^rs 
The Old Side-Wheeler "Sheboygan" and Goodrich's Steamboat Dock, burned in the early '80s. 





Sivert Ingerbretsen, Knud Arslarkscn, Johannes Evensen, Gur- 
der Giirtesen and Ole Plogensen, all sturdy men who were not 
afraid to encounter the hardships of frontier life and well calcu- 
lated to build up a new country. Johannes Johansen, Soren 
Backe and Evan Hansen Heg were regarded as the founders of 
the first pennanent Scandinavian colony in Wisconsin, the first 
named receiving the ai)pellation of "King." 

In a short time the colony increased in numbers and became 
the center of Scandinavian immigration to the state. A trading 
post was established on Mr. Heg's farm, where the colonists 
purchased their supplies and received their mail. One of the 
early dwellings occupied by some of the families was made by 
excavating a tumiel into a large Indian mound and roofing it 
over. Here several of the pioneers lived with their families until 
other and better quarters could be provided. One of the early 
settlers in Norway was James D. Reymert, who published a news- 
paper in the Norwegian language called the Nord Lyset (North- 
ern Light), which is said to have been the first Scandinavian 
newspaper in Wisconsin, if not in the United States. Mr. Reymert 
served as a member of the Asseml)ly in the legislative sessions of 
1849 and 1857. and in the session of 1854-55 was in the State 

Nearly all the colonists were Lutherans and in 1845 a log 
church was erected near the center of the settlement. In the 
churchyard many of the original foiuiders of the colony lie buried. 
Here also rest the remains of Hans C Heg, son of Evan Hansen 
Heg, who was colonel of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry in 
the Civil War. He was severely woimded while leading his regi- 
ment into the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1863, and 
died the next day. His bi'other, Ole Heg, was quartermaster of 
the same regiment. 

On February 11, 1847, Governor Dodge approved an act of 
the Legislature, Section 16 of which provided: "That Township 
Number 4 North, of Range Number 20 East, in the County of 
Racine, is hereby set off into a separate town by the name of 
Norway, and that the first town meeting in such town shall be 
holden at such place in said Town of Norway as the town clerk 
of the Town of Raymond shall by three written notices direct; 
and it shall be the duty of said town clerk to cause said notices 
to be posted up in three of the most public places in said Town- 


ship of Norway, at loast threo weeks l)ef()re the first Tuesday of 
April next." 

The town derives its name from the nationality of the early 
settlers. It is an agricultural community, having no railroad nor 
any villages within its limits. In 1910 the population was 888, 
and in 1915 the ]U'operty was assessed for taxatiou at $1,987,372. 


Northeast of the center of the coimty lies the Town of Ray- 
mond. It is bounded on the north by ISIilwaukee Toimty; on the 
east by the Town of Caledonia; on the south 1)}' Yorkville, and 
on the west by Norway. It is coextensive with Congressional 
Townshi}) 4, Range 21, and its area is therefore thirty-six square 
miles. The Root River just touches the northeast corner, and 
the South Fork of the same stream flows in a northerly direction 
through the central part, so that the township is well watered- 
The surface is gently undulating, the soil is fertile, and some of 
the finest farms in the county are in Raymond. 

The first settlers iu this township were probal)ly Nathaniel 
Roger and his son Joel, who located there in the spring of 
summer of 18.35. About the middle of S(^ptember of the same 
year they were joined by Klisha Raymond and his son Alvin, who 
came from Chicago on the Agnes Barton, the crew of which con- 
sisted of one Frenchman and two Indians. Flisha Raymond 
bought a (daini already made (lt)0 acres) for twenty-five dollars, 
upon which he built a rude cabin, where he spent the winter of 
1835-36. His son Alvin went to work for William See, in the 
saw-mill at the Rapids, and remained in liis employ for about a 
year, beginning in October, 1835. 

On June 20, 1836, Seneca Raymond, another son of Elisha, 
arrived at Racine, having come aroinid the lakes from Oswego, 
New York, hiinging with him his own and his father's family. 
Innnediately after the arrival of his wife and children, Elisha 
Raymond built a large two-story log house, to take the place of 
the cabin in which he had passed the preceding winter. The 
house liad a stone chimney and was one of the best in the county 
at the time it was finished and occupied. Seneca Raymond 
bi'ought with him twenty bushels of ])otatoes, which he planted 
on the fourth day of July and in the fall of 1836 dug 150 bushels. 

Other settlers in this township in 1836 were: Joseph Drake, 


John Brewer, Orson Bunip, John and Reuben Rogers, Timothy 
Sands and Nelson Bentley. The hist named left Manlius, New 
York, with a twohorsc team and watjDn on the same day that 
Seneca Raymond and his I'ulks embarked on the vessel at Oswego, 
and by a curious coincidence they both arrived at Racine on the 
same day, each making the journey in exactly six weeks. 

In 1837 Caleb J. True, William O. Mills, John Jones, Zach- 
ariah Sands, Frederick and William Schwartz and the Scofields — 
Cliarles, George, Dr. John E. and Reynolds — all settled in what 
is now Raymond Townshij^. Dr. John E. Scofield was the first 
physician to practice his profession in that part of Racine County. 

Among the settlers of 1838 were: Leonard Upham, Walter 
Shumway and Loring Weber. Mr. Weber arrived at the house 
of Elisha Raymond on the 12th of May and lived with him for 
about six weeks, or until he could make a claim and erect a 
dwelling of his own. He built the first frame house in the town- 
ship, obtaining his lumber from ]Mr. See's saw-mill at the Rapids, 
and lived in it until about 1869 or 1870, when he left the county. 
He also assisted in building the Congregational Church, which 
was the first meeting house in the township. Soon after he was 
comfortably settled, he and Elisha Raymond went to Illinois and 
returned with thirty head of cattle and fifteen hogs, some of which 
they sold to other settlers in the neighborhood. 

When the first white men came to this part of Racine County 
Indians were plentiful and sometimes they gave the settlers 
trouble, not by open hostility, but by their begging and petty 
thievery. The Raymond settlement was not far from Jambeau's 
trading post, to which the Indians made frequent visits. If they 
were successful in obtaining a supply of "fire-water," they were 
in the habit of committing little depredations on their return to 
their camp, so that the settlers had to be on their guard to see 
that nothing was carried away from their premises by the drunken 
savages. On one occasion Alvin Raymond happened to fall asleep 
in the field where he had been cutting grass, with his rifle by his 
side. He was suddenly awakened and discovered thirteen ponies, 
with two or three Indians astride each pony. Grasping his rifle, 
he sprang to his feet, but the Indians showed no disposition to 
resent his hostile demonstration. They merely inquired if he 
had a squaw and a wigwam and went directly to his house. But 
all they did was to ask for something to eat, a request that Mrs. 


Raymond was afraid to deny, and after a hearty meal they de- 
parted. White children were few, and Charles Raymond, Alvin's 
son, played so much with Indian children that he could speak the 
Potawatomi language when only three years of age. 

The first marriage in Raymond was that of Willard Flint and 
Miss Eliza Rajnnond, which was solenmized on May 27, 1838. 

On February 2, 1846, Governor Dodge approved an act of 
the Territorial Legislature, one section of which provided : ' ' That 
all that district of country comprised in Township 4 North, of 
Range 21 East, and the east half of Township 4 North, of Range 
20 East, in Racine County, be, and the same hereby is organized 
into a separate tow^n to be called Black Hawk, and the first town 
meeting in said town shall be held at the house of Elisha Ray- 

This section was repealed the next day by an act, Section 1 
of which reads as follows: "That all that part of the Town of 
Yorkville, in the County of Racine, lying north of Township 3 
North, in Ranges 20 and 21 East, shall be and is hereby set off 
into a separate town, by the name of Raymond, and the first town 
meeting shall be held at the house of Elisha Raymond." 

The repealing act, although written in different phraseology, 
included the same territory in the Town of Raymond that had 
been incorporated in the Towai of Black Hawk the day before. 
As originally created, Raymond included all the present township 
of that name and the eastern half of Norway. It was reduced to 
its present dimensions by the act of February 11, 1847. The 
population in 1910 was 1,512, and in 1915 the assessed value of 
the property was $2,422,827. 


The Town of Rochester is the smallest in the county, as it 
is comprised of the north half of Congressional Township 3, Range 
19, and has an area of only eighteen square miles. It is situated 
in the western tier; is bounded on the north by the Town of 
Waterford; on the east by Dover; on the south by Burlington, 
and on the west by the County of Walworth. The Fox River 
Hows in a southerly direction through the eastern half of the 
township and it is joined near the village of Rochester by the 
Muskego Creek, the outlet of Wind Lake. The outlet of Eagle 
Ijakc touches the southeast corner and falls into the Fox River 



in Section 14. A little of the north end of Long Lake lies in this 
township and there is a small lake between it and the Village of 

Levi Godfrey and John B. Wade came into what is now 
Rochester Township on foot in the fall of 1835. To the former 
belongs the honor of being the first white settler. He was looking 
for a water power and finding a i)laee that looked suitable for 
his purposes near where the Village of Rochester now stands, 
he made a claim on the west side of the Fox River at that point. 
His shanty, sixteen feet square, was the first structure erected 
by a white man in the township. When it was completed he 
brought his wife to their frontier home early in 1836. Mrs. 
Godfrey did not see a white woman during the first six weeks 
of her residence in Racine County. Her nearest female neighbor 
was Mrs. Betsy Call, at Call's Grove, in what is now the Town of 

Mr. Wade also made a claim and his wife was the first person 
to die in the township, her death occurring on New Year's Day in 
1837. In that year Levi Godfrey opened his hotel in Rochester. 

A few settlers located in Rochester during the year 1836. 
among whom were G. W. Gamble, Gilman Hoyt, John T. Palmer, 
L. O. and Martin Whitman and Mary Skinner. The first bridge 
over the Fox River at Rochester was built in the fall of that year 
by Ira A. Rice and John T. Palmer. 

Quite a number of immigrants came to the township in 1837, 
among whom may be mentioned Cicorge E. Duncan, George W. 
and Tristam Hoyt, Benjamin Flanders, Alonzo Snow, James H. 
Gipson, Thaddeus Earl, David M. Fowler, Joseph Clark, Philan- 
der Bartlett, Benjamin Bartlett, Horace Frost, Royal Flanders, 
Patrick Laughrin, John Freelove and Sela Whitman. Toward 
the close of the year John Freelove, Sela Whitman and Seth 
Warner also settled in Rochester. Seth Warner's son, Henry, was 
the first white child born in the townshiiD. 

In 1838 Horace Andrews, Calvin Earl, I. O. Parker, H. S. 
Hurlbut, Hilliard Hely and William G. Lewis all made claims 
in the township, and the next year the population was increased 
l)y the arrival of Obed Hurlbut, G. M. Hely, Eleazer Everit, Jacob 
L. Myers, Jedediah Healy, Henry Cady, Luther Whitman, Abial 
\Miitman, J. H. Hickox, Richard E. Ela and Pinkston Wade. 

A saw-mill was built at Rochester soon after the first settle- 


incuts were started, and when Eleazor Everit arrived in 1839 he 
decided to have a frame house. He therefore cut and hauled two 
saw-logs to the mill and had them sawed into boards. Then he 
cut down four small trees and planted them firmly in the ground 
for corner posts. To these posts he nailed the l)oards and also 
used some of his Imnber for a roof. The house was not exactly 
"a thing of beauty," but it served as an abode for himself, his 
wife and two children on the farm Avhere he afterward built a 
substantial residence and made other improvements second to 
none in the county. The first season he occupied his farm he 
sowed six acres of wheat, which yielded a good crop. In market- 
ing his ^\•heat he was especially fortunate. Southport (now in 
Kenosha County) was the most convenient market town and to 
that i)lace he hauled a load of wheat, for which he received thir- 
teen dollars in currency, l)ut upon trying to pass the money 
learned that the l)ank which had issued it had been in bankruptcy 
for two years. 

Some idea of the hardshii^s encountered by young women on 
the frontier may he gained from the experience of Emily Hoyt, 
daughter of Tristam C. Hoyt, who came with her father and 
brother to Rochester in 1837, when she was only thirteen years 
of age. She was the housekee])er for the family and after pre- 
paring breakfast on suiniiier mornings she would hurry up with 
her woi-k, fasten the door of the cabin as well as she could and 
g(( with her father and brother to the field, where she would re- 
main all day following the plow, rather than stay in the cabin, 
because Indians in considerable munbers were cimstantly prowl- 
ing about the neighborhood and she was afraid to be by herself. 

The first i)hysician in Rochester Township was Dr. Solomon 
Hlood; Seth Warner was the first justice of the ])eace; Rev. C. 
C. Cadwell was the first resident minister, who preached for the 
Baptist Chui'ch, organized in 1837, which was the first religious 
society. Philo Helden built the first brick chinmey, hauling the 
brick from a yard at the mouth of th(^ Root River, a distance of 
about twenty-five nules. Martin Whitman began the improve- 
ment of a water power on Muskego Creek in the fall of 1837, and 
in January, 1840, Oren Wright i)ut in a turning lathe. He manu- 
factured chaii-s, tables and bedsteads — the only furniture of that 
description made any place within a radius of many nnles. The 
first marriage was that of a Mr. Cole and a Miss Fowler. The 


sj,i'()(iiii walked to Raciiic Inr the iiiai'iMaj;c license, which cost him 
tcnir dollars. 

\\'hcn Rochester Township was first established by the act 
of Jamiary 2, 1838, its boundaries were described as follows: 
"Conunencing at the southwest corner of the Town of Mount 
Pleasant; thence due west to the line dividing Racine and Wal- 
worth Counties; thence due north to the north line of Racine 
("ounty; thence east to the northwest corner of the Town of 
Mount Pleasant, and thence due south to the place of beginning." 

These boundaries included all the present Town of Rochester, 
the Towns of Dover, Norway and Waterford, and the north half 
of Burlington. The next Legislature passed an act, approved by 
(iovernor Dodge on March 9, 1839, creating a number of new 
townships in the state and modifying the boundaries of those pre- 
viously established. Section 21 of that act provided: "That the 
country included within the following limits, to wit : Commencing 
at the northwest corner of Racine County; thence due east to 
the northwest corner of the Town of Mount Pleasant; thence due 
south to the northeast (southeast) corner of Section 13, in Town- 
ship No. 3 North, Range 20 East; thence due west to the line 
dividing Racine and Walworth Counties; thence due north to the 
])lace of ])eginning, be, and the same is hereby set off into a sep- 
arate town by the name of Rochester." 

As thus described, Rochester included the Towns of Norway 
and Waterford, the present Town of Rochester and the northern 
half of D(jver. There is clearly a misprint in the eastern bound- 
ary, where the northeast corner of Secticm 13 is given as its south- 
ern terminus. The southeast corner of that section is on a line 
with the southern boundary of Rochester as it is at present, and 
was unquestionably meant. This theory is borne out by the fact 
lliat the Town of Burlington was created by the same act, its 
northern boundary being fixed as the "Town of Rochester," and 
there is no i-ecord of the north line of Burlington having been 

In the act of January 2, 1838, the })laces of holding elections 
were designated as the house of Stebbins and Duncan, in the 
Village of Rochester, and IMoses Smith's house, in the Village of 
Burlington. When Burlington was estalilished the next year, the 
house of Stel)bins and Duncan remained as the voting place for 


Although the smallest township in the county and without a 
railroad, Rochester is not behind in other respects. The popula- 
tion in 1910 was 766, and the assessed valuation of property in 
1915 was $1,297,385, or nearl^y seventeen hundred dollars for each 
person living in the township. 


Situated in the northwest corner of the county is the Town 
of Waterford, which includes Congressional Township 4 North, 
of Range 19 East, and has an area of thirty-six square miles. The 
F'ox River enters it from Waukesha County near the middle of 
the northern boundary and flows in a southerly direction, leaving 
the township near the Village of Waterford. In the northeastern 
part, in Sections 11, 12, 13 and 14, lies Tishigan Lake, a beautiful 
little body of water about one mile in length. The surface is 
slightly undulating and the soil is generally fertile. 

The settlement of this part of the county began in May, 1836, 
when Sanuiol E. Chai)man, P. R. Mygatt, Ira A. Rice and Arad 
Wells made claims in what is now the Town of Waterford. Chap- 
man and Rice brought their wives with them and were the first 
to establish homes. Levi and Hiram Barnes came a little later; 
Benoni Buttles and his family arrived in June; Hiram Page came 
in August; Archibald Cooper in September, and before the close 
of the year Henry and Austin Mygatt, Elisha and Osborne L. 
Elms, Alpheus Barnes, Samuel C. Russ and Adney Sampson had 
located in the neighl)orhood. Joseph and Tyler Caldwell settled 
in the northwestern part, whore a postoffice called "Caldwell's 
Prairie" was afterward estalJished. They Avere soon afterward 
joined by Abram Ressigue, William A. Cheney and Calvin Gault, 
and in the fall Charles Hewitt, Paul W. Todd and Wesley Munger 
settled upon the prairie. 

During the year 1837 a number of pioneers came to the Town 
of Waterford. Among them were: Louis D. Merrills, Frederick 
A. and Harvey Weage, Israel Markham, Orrin Barry, James and 
John Cooper, Sautell Whitman, Dyer Buskirk, William Wade, 
J. S. Cooper, Lorenzo Ward, Victor M. Willard, T. W. Gault, 
William Jones, John Fisher, and a man by the name of Burbank. 
The following year Nelson II. Palmer, Elijah K. Bent, Jefferson 
Brown, Ira Coleman and a few others came into the township. 

The first settlers located on or near the Fox River. Samuel 


E. Chajnnan bnilt his house on the site of an old Indian eouneil 
house called "Cadney's Castle," not far from the present Village 
of Waterford, of which he was one of the founders. Ira A. Rice 
went a little farther from the river and located his claim in Sec- 
tion 27, where he developed a fine faiin, upon which he continued 
to reside for many years. The Caldwells, when they first came, 
built a small shanty, but in 1837 Joseph built a frame house, 
which was probably the first in the township. 

Concerning the manner in which these pioneers lived, Judge 
Dyer, in his address to the Old Settlers in 1871, said: "The hard- 
ships of these pioneers, during the first seasons of their settle- 
ment, were often severe. They had not only to contend against 
thieving Indians, but were obliged to transport their provisions 
and seed with ox teams from Racine, Southport and Chicago. 
There were no roads in the country; streams had to l)e forded, 
marshes traversed, and all the difficulties of travel which prevail 
in an unsettled region encountered. At some seasons, hunting 
and fishing afforded the chief means of subsistence. The men 
worked days, and lumted game and speared fish by torch-light 
at night. But amid all their privations the settlers were happy, 
for they enjoyed the freedom and independence of their rugged 
life. New comers were always welcome to their humble hospital- 
ity; every cabin and shake-roofed house was open; friendship and 
brotherly love prevailed. There were no drones in those days. 
Every man and woman had work to do, and did it, and when one 
of the settlers had a job on his hands that he could not manage 
alone, all his neighbors gave him their gratuitous assistance." 

The first crops raised by the settlers in this part of the county 
were potatoes and rutabagas. Archibald Cooper used to tell how 
he and his family lived for two weeks upon rutabagas alone. He 
also said that the first johnny cake he ate after coming to Racine 
County was made of corn meal ground in a coffee mill at the house 
of Osborne L. Elms, and the molasses they had with it was made 
from watermelons. Flour was a luxury. Lotiis D. Merrills paid 
twenty dollars for the first barrel of flour that he bought after 
coming to the county, and paid for it by splitting fence rails. He 
sowed the first crop of winter wheat in the fall of 1836, and the 
following summer made the cradle with which it was harvested. 

The first white child born in Waterford was Louisa, daughter 
of Israel Markham, who was born in 1837. The first justice of 


the jjcaci' was Sanuiel El. Chapman, and the first physiciaB was 
a Dr. Blanchaid. Harriet Caldwell taught the first school in 1840. 
The first saw-mill in the settlement was huilt in the fall of 1837, 
when a number of pioneers joined together and built a dam across 
the Fox River to furnish the power. In 1840 Samuel PC. Chapman 
erected a grist mill at the same place. The first mill-stone was 
only twenty-two iiu^hes in diameter. It was kept as a relic by 
Mr. Cha])man for many years after the mill ceased to do business. 
Levi Barnes was the hrst preacher. He was not a doctor of divin- 
ity, but he was not afraid to rebuke the sins of those who listened 
to him. Some of the settlers were in the habit of going fishing 
(in Sunday, and it is said that Mr. Barnes, in one of his sermons, 
i-eproved them for this practice, as follows: "Pioneers and sin- 
ners! I come to call you to repentance; and as one so called, I 
declare to you that unless you repent of your sins, you are gone, 
hook and line, bo]) and sinker." The language was certainly more 
forcible than elegant, Init it is not known what effect it had on 
the recreant fishermen. 

Ira A. Rice succeeded Mr. Chapman as justice of the peace. 
While he was magistrate, a man was ])rought before him on the 
charge of stealing a sheep. The evidence was conclusive, the 
(•ul])rit was found guilty, and "Squire" Rice sentenced him to 
twciity days' hard lalior. The prisoner served out his time in 
helping to build a bridge across the Muskego Creek, which was 
then within Rice's jurisdiction. The sentence may not have been 
strictly according to law, l)ut the offender evidently did not know 
it and no one else offered any objection. 

Mr. Rice was also the first captain of the Waterford militia, 
of which Archibald Cooper was first lieutenant. Samuel E. Chap- 
man had formerly been a captain of light infantry and when the 
Waterford (■omi)any assembled for drill he presented himself with 
a wooden sword "al)out six feet long," apparently intending to 
take command. But Captain Rice disarmed him and reduced him 
lo the ranks. 

Just when Waterford was set off from Rochester is not cer- 
tain, as a careful search through the session laws of Wisconsin 
fails to reveal any act establisliing the township as a separate civil 
jurisdiction. It was probably created about the same time as 
Norway, which was in February, 1847. The township has no 
laili'ond and the Village of Waterford is the only one within its 





c g 





/ J 

\ i 


limits. In 1910 tlie population (exclusive of the village) was 
935, and in 1915 the assessed value of the property was $2,640,682. 


The Town of Yorkville is one of the southern tier. It is 
Ixninded on the north by the Town of Raymond; on the east by 
.Mount Pleasant; on the south by Kenosha Comity, and on the 
west by Dover Township. It embraces Congressional Township 
4 North, of Range 21 East, and has an area of thirty-six square 
miles. The South Fork of the Root River flows in a northerly 
direction through the central part, and this stream, with its trib- 
utaries, affords good natural drainage to the entire township. 
The surface is generally level, or slightly rolling, and the soil is 
alxtve the average in fertility. 

To Joseph Call belongs the distinction of having been the 
first settler in Yorkville. He located at what is now known as 
Ives' Grove in the sununer of 1835. built a log house, and after- 
ward conducted it as a taveni. The fall after he located there 
he sold 160 acres of his claim to Nelson A. Walker, whose family 
came the following March. When Mr. Walker bought his claim 
in the fall of 1835, there was not a single house between Ives' 
drove and the settlement at Rochester, and Mrs. Call was the 
only white woman in the Town of Yorkville. Other early settlers 
were Samuel Daniels, Daniel Whitmore and Samuel Kerr, who 
all lived together in one cabin, though each had a claim of his 
own. In 1838 Mr. Walker sold his claim nad removed to Mount 

Charles Nobles and (ieorge Nichols settled near the Grove 
in 1836. Late in that year or early in 1837, Marshall M. Strong, 
of Racine, and Stephen N. Ives purchased Joseph Call's claim, 
including his tavern, and in May, 1837, sold it to Roland Ives, 
from whom the name of the grove was derived. About that time 
John Nobles settled at Ives' Grove and L. S. Blake made a claim 
in another part oi the townhisp, but soon afterward sold it to 
Cornelius Brezee, who settled upon it in June, 1837, and there 
passed the remainder of his life. 

Alexander (^iray, accompanied by Charles Waite, came in 
1837. Other settlers of that year were: Robert Bell, Edward 
Buchan, Ebenezer Heald, Owen Campbell and Col. P. P. Lincoln. 
Colonel Lincoln had been here in June, 1836, and selected his 


claim, but did not become a permanent settler until in September, 
]837. Tn the early days he traveled through the different settle- 
ments threshing wheat with a flail, in the use of which he is said 
to have been an expert. 

In April, 1838, Reuben Waite, father of Charles E. Waite, 
located near his son. He was one of the most public spirited of 
the early settlers. Late in the year 1839 he concluded that the 
children of the neighborhood ought to attend school, so he fitted 
up part of his house for a school room and employed Levantia 
Baruum at his own expense as a teachei'. Eight scholars attended 
the school, which ran through the greater part of the winter. 

Another settler of 1838 was Arba B. Terrell, who located at 
Ives' Grove. He was a carpenter by trade and had no troul^le in 
finding employment. One of the buildings he erected was the 
first barn of Elisha Ra.ymond, in the Town of Raymond. He was 
something of an elocutionist, a great mimic, full of good humor, 
and was quite a favorite at entei-tainments. 

Tn the fall of 1838 Owen Campbell purchased Nelson A. 
Walker's claim for $1,000, Mr. Walker removing to Mount Pleas- 
ant, as above stated. Mr. Campbell had first come to the county 
the year before with Roland Ives. Forty acres of his claim had 
been improved by Mr. Walker. His family consisted of a wife 
and ten children. One of his sons. Homer Campbell, aftenvard 
studied medicine and practiced his profession for years in Racine 
County. Owen Campbell was one of the eai-ly justices of the 
peace of Torkville. 

The first white child born in the township was Mary Jane, 
daughter of Nelson A. Walker, who was boi-n on May 13, 1838. 
A few months later her parents removed to Moiint Pleasant, 
where she grew to wonianho(xl and married a man by the name 
of George. 

Yorkville Township was first erected by an act of the Leg- 
islature, approved on February 7, 1842. Section 4 of the act 
provided: "That all that \n\Yt of the Towns of jNIomit Pleasant, 
Burlingt<m and Rochester comprised within the following limits, 
to wit: Connnencing at the southeast corner of Section 25, Town- 
ship 3 North, Range 21 East; running west to the southwest cor- 
ner of Section 27, in Township 3, Range 20; thence north eleven 
miles to the north line of the County of Racine; thence east on 
said line to the northeast corner of Section 1, in Township 4, 


Uange 21; thence south to the pku-e of begimung, shall be and 
is hereby set off into a separate town by the name of Yorkville." 

The l)oundaries as above described iiichi(h'd all the present 
Town of Yorkville, except a strip one mile wide across the south 
side, all of Raymond, the eastern half of Norway, and the eastern 
half of Dover, except Sections 34, 35 and 36. The act also stipu- 
lated that the first election should be held at the house of E. 

When the Town of Raymond was set off by the act of Feb- 
ruary 2, 1846 — under the name of Black Hawk — Section 10 
provided: "That all that district of country comprised in Town- 
ship 3 North, Range 21 East, and the east half of Township 3 
North, of Range 20 East, in Racine County, be and the same is 
hereby organized into a separate town to be called the Town of 
Yorkville, and the first town meeting in said town shall be held 
at the house of E. Adams." 

By this act the southern boundary of the town was extended 
to what is now the Kenosha County line, and when the Town of 
Dover was created Yorkville was reduced to its present area. A 
division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway system 
runs across the southern part of Yorkville and there are two 
stations in the township — Sylvania (foiTnerly called Windsor), 
near the eastern boundary, and Union Grove, in the southwest 
corner. The latter is an incorporated village. In 1910 the popu- 
lation of Yorkville, not including the Village of Union Crove, was 
1,146, and in 1915 the jn-operty was assessed at $3,164,022. 


Looking backward over a period of four score years, one can 
not help recognizing the fact that the present generation owes to 
the pioneers of the several townships of Racine County a debt 
of remembrance and gratitude, that can only l)e paid by studying 
their achievements and cherishing their memory. They lived in 
rude cabins, wore homespun clothing, dined on homely fare, 
fought prairie fires, contended with prowling wolves and pred- 
atory Indians, and often suffered for the commonest necessities 
of life. But they conquered the wild wastes, improved their lands, 
opened roads, bridged the streams, built up villages and cities, 
estal)lished factories, inaugurated civil government in county and 
township, and gave to their posterity the splendid civilization 


that the people of the present day enjoy. All honor, then, to the 
pioneers, whose conquest of a trackless wilderness is as much 
deserving of a place in history as the conquests of Alexander the 
Great, or the victory of Wellington over Napoleon at Waterloo. 









^ *S --v V ^ H>i \n 





Rucine, the seat of justice of Ivaciiic County and the second 
largest city in the State of Wisconsin, is located on the shore of 
Lake Michigan, in the Town of Mount Pleasant, and at the mouth 
of the Root River. Actual surveys show that the court-house is 
situated in latitude 42' 43' 45" north and longitude 87' 47' 01" west. 
The name "Racine" is of French origin and was in all prol)ability 
lirst applied to the locality by the Jesuit missionaries when they 
visited the locality in the Seventeenth Century. It means, as 
nearly as can be determined, "a river filled with tangled roots," 
and was given to the river that flows into Lake Michigan at that 
point, though the Indian name of the stream was "Chip-pe-cot- 
ton," which means "root." Philo White, writing on the subject 
of the name in 1845, says: "Racine, in French, means not only 
I'oot as applied to trees, shrulis and plants, but also signifies the 
principal, the ))ase, the source, the; foundation; and hence a French 
writer says, 'Je crois qii'il veut prendre racine ici.' " This ex- 
pression Mr. White translates as "I think he desires to take up 
his quarters here," a translation that signifies a desirable place 
to dwell, which is borne out by the fact that the first white settlers 
in the county locat(^d at the mouth of the Root River. 


As narrated in Cha}jter IV of this work, the first actual set- 
tlers in what is now the City of Racine were (rilbert Knapp, A. J. 
and William Luce and a man named Welch, the Luces and Welch 
l)eing employees of Captain Knapj). After staking out his claim 
(all the land comprised in the original plat of Racine) and building 
a small cabin near the mouth of the river in November, 1834, 
Captain Knapj.) returned to Chicago, leaving his hired men to 
look "after and protect his interests. During that winter and the 


following spring he interested Gurdon S. Hubbard, of Chicago, 
and Jacob A. Barker, of Buffalo, New York, in his project of 
founding a town at the mouth of the Boot Biver. A name being 
necessary, the proposed town was called "Bort Gilbert," in honor 
of the original settler, but that name was soon abandoned in favor 
of "Bacine." 

There is a story to the effect that a trading post of the 
American Pur Company was established several years before the 
arrival of Captain Knapp. Augustin (irignon, for many years 
associated with the affairs of the company, in his reminiscences, 
published in the Wisconsin Historical Collections (Vol. XX, p. 
218), says that James Kinzie, a son of the well known Chicago 
trader, John Kinzie, was in charge of the company's post at Mil- 
waukee in the early '20s and had a branch at the mouth of the 
Boot Biver. This James Kinzie was born at Detroit in 1793, 
but went to Virginia in his childhood and lived with his mother's 
] )('(>] )le imtil he was about twenty-three years old. He then re- 
turned to the West and was in the employ of the American Fur 
Company until the post at Milwaukee was closed. In 1833 he 
built the "Green Tree Tavern" in Chicago, and was the first 
sheriff of Cook County, Illinois. From Chicago he went to Iowa 
County, Wisconsin, and died there on January 13, 1866. Just 
how much truth there is in this story, or just where the Bacine 
post was located, is somewhat problematical. 

On January 2, 1835, Stephen Campbell, William See, Paul 
Kingston and Ednnnid came from Chicago for the purpose of 
locating claims somewhere in the neighborhood of the Boot Biver. 
They found the Luce brothers in the cabin erected by Captain 
Knapp 's direction the fall before. William Luce pointed out the 
boundaries of the claim they were holding and warned the new 
comers not to trespass. Mr. Campbell went back some distance 
into the dense woods, cleared a small space and built a shanty, 
but discovered that he was upon the Knapp claim. He then went 
farther west and built a second cabin in what afterward became 
the "Har])or Addition." Mr. See went on up the river to the 
B-ajjids; Mr. Weed staked out a claim that was afterward owned 
and occui>ied by Nicholas D. Fratt, and Mr. Kingston staked out 
a claim just south of Knapp's, as he supposed, l)ut learned when 
it was too late that he was a trespasser. After some conflict, he 
surrendered his claim there and it l>ecame the Knapp homestead. 





In the spring of 1835 Joel Sage set out from Massachusetts 
to seek a new home somewhere in the West. Upon arriving at 
Chicago he met Captain Knapp, who {)rovided him with an Indian 
pony, ui)on which lie made the trip to Racine. He arrived at his 
destination in May and began looking about for a satisfactory 
location. West of the Root River an Indianian had made a claim, 
which Mr. Sage bought, and of which he took inunediate ])os- 
session. His log house stood on top of the bluff, at a point 
that is now almost the exact center of State Street. During his 
absence one day in the fall of 1835, some evil-minded person or 
jiersons tore down his house, hoping, no doubt, to frighten him 
away and get possession of his claim. But jNlr. Sage was not that 
kind of a man. He inunediately rebuilt his cabin and finnly 
asserted his right to the 107 acres inehided in his claim. In his 
address to the Old Settlers in 1871, Judge Charles E. Dyer said: 

"Joel Sage, in retaining his claim and title to the 107 acres, 
upon which he located, was spared the trials and troubles which 
congressional legislation had brought to other settlers. But he 
had a long and discouraging conflict with fraudulent float holders, 
who sought, l)y all means that were not honest, to oust him of his 
possessions. He journeyed to Green Bay and there resisted their 
pretenses; he went to Chicago and employed lawyers to assist 
him in his warfare, and with a just conception of the first great 
light and duty of an actual settler, he took good care to maintain 
actual possession of the lands upon which he had located. His 
theory was that his cabin was his castle; that possession was nine 
points in the law, and, adhering with courageous ])ertinacity 
his position, fraudulent floats and bogus titles could not prevail 
against him. His rights culminated in actual title in 1838, ]\v 
virtue of pre-emption." 

On February 7, 1836, Joel Sage's two sons — Sidney A. and 
Stephen H. — arrived in Racine, and in August his wife, Bethiah 
Sage, came with Rev. Cyrus Nichols and family. When Racine 
began to spread out, the 107 acres of Mr. Sage's claim gained the 
appellation of "Sage Town," by which title it was known for 
many years. ^Ir. Sage died in September, 1840, Imt some of his 
descendants still live in Racine. 

During the summer and fall of 1835 E. J. Glenn, James 
Beeson, Levi Mason, Amaziah Stebbins, Alfred and Dr. Bushnell 
B. Cary, Samuel Mars, John M. Myers, Eugene Gillespie, Joseph 


Knap]!, Henry F. Cox, William Saltonstall and a man named 
Stilwell arrived and began the work of buildin,t>- homes. Dr. Elias 
Smith, the seeond physician in the town, arrived in December. 
In the meantime five or six frame houses had been erected, one 
(if which was a two-story structure used as a tavern. It was 
built l)y .John Pagan and the hotel was kei)t by Amaziah Stebbins 
and John M. Myers. Mr. Myers afterward went to Milwaukee, 
where he was engaged in the hotel business until his death. His 
son, Henry S. Myers, was the first white male child born in the 
City of Racine, a daughter having been born to Levi Mason and 
his wife a short time before. By the close of the year 1835 there 
was an atmosphere about "Port (Jilbert" that indicated the town 
had "come to stay." 

The year 1836 witnessed a considerable increase in the pop- 
ulation. Besides Rev. Cyrus Nichols and the family of Joel 
Sage already mentioned, William H. Waterman, Norman Clark, 
Alanson Filer, Marshall M. Strong, Timothy Knight and his son, 
Samuel G., Jonathan M. Snow, Enoch Thompson, Seth Parsons, 
Samuel Lane, William H. Chamberlin, Stephen N. Ives, Lorenzo 
Janes, James O. Bartlett, Charles Smith, Lyman K. Smith and 
a number of others settled in and around the village. 

Marshall M. Strong was the first lawyei-. He came with 
Charles and Lyman K. Smith and Stephen N. Ives on the "Penn- 
sylvania," one of the first steamers on the Great Lakes. Soon 
after his arrival he formed a partnei'shi]) with Stephen N. Ives 
and they opened a store under the firm name of Strong & Ives. 
Previous to that time Caj^tain Knapp had kept a small stock of 
goods to supply the immediate wants of the settlers, but the first 
established store in Racine was that of Cilenn & Mason. Eugene 
(iillespie was the second merchant. Dr. Elias Smith and William 
11. Waterman opened the third mercantile house, and the firm of 
Str(mg & Ives was the fourth concern of that line. Concerning 
the year 1836, Judge Dyer says: "The year was, as all know 
who experienced its business history, a remarkable year. The 
mania for speculation raged wildly. Speculators were traversing 
the country looking for water powers and village sites; farmers 
and mechanics threw aside their work and began to buy and trade 
in village lots that were located in an unbroken forest. Racine 
was to be a great city, even three years before the land sales, 
and I have in my possession the estimated value of the town lots 




HISTORY (W R.\ri\E COrXTV 137 

in Racine, made September 17, 1836, which discloses the interest- 
ing fact that, at that time, the value of the property in what is 
now the ori.t-inal plat of Racine, was $348,100. Upon the strength 
of such an assessment as that, wliat a })ity they didn't issue some 
city bonds in anticipation of a railroad, via Ball's Bluff, a charter 
for which was obtained in 1838!" 

Samuel Lane was the first shoemaker. Soon after his arrival 
in 1836 he opened his shop in the old claim shanty that had been 
built by Captain Knapp. William H. Chamberlin, the first l)lack- 
smith, also began business in this year, and Benjamin Pratt, 
who came in 1835, established a brickyard, from which came the 
bricks for the chimneys of the Racine Hotel and the old light 
liouse. The first school was taught in the winter of 1836 by a 
man named Bradley, in a little house sixteen feet scpiare, which 
stood on the lot where McClurg's Block w^as afterward erected. 

When Racine County was created by the act of December 7, 
1836. Alfred Cary and Joel Sage were appointed justices of the 
peace. It is said that Mi-. Sage did not desire the honor and 
declined to qualify until Alfred Cary, wh(j was a warm friend 
of Mr. Sage, announced his intention of getting married and re- 
cjuested i\lr. Sage to perform the ceremony. To acconunodate 
his friend he took the oath of office and his first act in an official 
capacity was to solemnize the union of Alfred Cary and Miss 
Mary Knight, a daughter of Timothy Knight. The marriage 
occm-red on December 29, 1836, and was the first wedding in 

The great event of the year 1837 was the building of the 
Racine House — the town's first "big" hotel. It was erected by 
Alfred Cary at a cost of over ten thousand dollars. The site was 
in the woods and a clearing had to be made before work on tlic 
hotel commenced. Albert G. Knight hauled the lumber from 
See's saw-mill at the Rapids; Lucius S. Blake burned the lime, 
and Benjamin Pratt furnished the bricks. ^Mien the frame was 
ready everybody in the community turned out to an old-fashioned 
"raising," and the skeleton went up with a rush. When the 
hotel was completed a celebration was held and "in the dancing 
room, which had been particularly prepared, from close of day 
until early morn a hapjjy crowd danced away the night under 
the inspiration of music furnished by a hod earner on a three- 
stringed fiddle." John M. Myers was the first landlord and con- 


ducted the house for some time before his removal to Milwaukee. 


Various statements have l)een made regarding the first survey 
of Racine. Judge Dyer says, in his Old Settlers' address: "In 
the winter of 1835 and 1836, the City of Racine was laid out into 
lots and lilocks" — a statement that is repeated in Chapter V 
of this work. The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, pub- 
lished in 1879, says, on page 361: "The first survey of the village 
north (if the river was made by Milo Jones; that south of the 
stream by Joshua Ilatheway," but does not give the time. 
Franklin Ilatheway, who was one of the government surveyors 
in Racine Comity, and a nephew of the Joshua Hatheway men- 
tioned above, in an article on "Surveying in Wisconsin," pub- 
lished in the Wisconsin Historical Collections (Vol. XV, p. 391), 
says: "We left Milwaukee on Christmas Day (1835), on foot, 
and before the end of the year were actively at work. Two months 
sufficed to complete the survey; about the first of March, 1836, 
a portion of the party was dismissed and the others spent about 
a month in surveying and laying out the future City of Racine, 
under the lead of David Giddings." 

While Mr. Hatheway's statement does not altogether agree 
w ith the others, it does not seriously conflict, and as he was one 
of the party he should be regarded as competent authority. The 
survey he speaks of as having been completed in two months 
included Townships 1, 2 and 3 North, of Ranges 19, 20, 21, 22 
and 23 East. This district embraced all of the present County 
of Kenosha and the southern half of Racine. 

After ihv survey was completed, a map or plat was drawn 
by Joshua Hatheway. On this original plat the streets running 
uoi'th and south, beginning next to the lake, were Michigan, Chat- 
ham, Main and Wisconsin, which extended both north and south 
of the Root River, while west of Wisconsin Street south of the 
i-iver were BarnstalJe and Chippeway Streets. From the river 
noi-th the east and west streets were shown as Dodge, Hamilton, 
Hubbard, Barker and Kewaunee; south of the river were Water, 
Front, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Streets. Running 
along the east bank of the river from Chippeway to Water Streets 
was West Street. A number of the names of these streets have 
since been changed; for example, Barnstable Street is now College 

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IN PRLVENCG <"' w; ■ J. 



Avenue, and Chippeway Street is Park Avenue. The public square 
is shown as being comprised of one tier of lots on the west side of 
Main Street, from Fifth to Sixth Streets, and the opposite tier 
on the east side of Main Street, with that street running through 
the center. 

The official plat of the town, as made by Mr. Hatheway, was 
l<ist (supposed to have been destroyed by fire) many years ago, 
but Captain Knaj^p had a copy, which was reproduced by John 
W. Knight in 1887, and from which the above description was 
taken. In one corner of the sheet Mr. Knight wrote: "Copy of 
the plat of Racine, Wisconsin, in possession of Captain Gilbert 
Knajjp up to the time of his death in the year 1887. I have taken 
great pains to make this a correct and faithful copy of the plat 
of Racine held by Captain Knapp, which is supposed to be a copy 
of the original plat of Racine Ijy Hatheway, as Captain Knapp 
was a large owner of lots at that time. The plat gives no dimen- 
sions and has no certificate attached. Irregular dimensions of 
streets, lots or blocks on this plat are copied from the other, and 
(are) not errors by me." 


The loss of the original plat caused a great deal of trouble 
in laying out additions to the city, which is now fully twenty 
times as large as shown on Hatheway 's plat of 1836. Concerning 
this condition of affairs, David H. Flett, foniier municipal judge, 
has prepared the following statement: 

"Considerable trouble has been experienced in Racine in 
correctly locating the street and property lines. Especially is 
this true of Section 16, generally known as the School Section. 
The section itself was originally surveyed and the lines located 
!)>• the United States Government surveyors. Under the Federal 
Jaws, this section became the property of the state, the proceeds 
of sale to be used for school purposes. The section was resurveyed 
and platted in 1848 by Moses Vilas under the direction of the 
State of Wisconsin. 

"At the time of both surveys, the land was more or less 
covered with trees and brush, and neither survey was very accu- 
rate. By the first survey the section was not a perfect square, 
the south side being somewhat longer than the north side, and 
the west side being somewhat longer than the east side. 


"This gave rise to twn luethods for the establishing of street, 
l)lock and lot lines. One of the local surveyors adopted Seventh 
Street for the base line for thc^ noi'th and south streets, rurniing 
them all at right angles to Seventh Street, and Main Street as 
the base line for the east and west streets, running them all at 
right angles to Main Street. This, of course, had the effect of 
ci-eating some quite large blocks in the southwest corner of the 
section. The other local surveyor took the position that the sev- 
eral blocks should be of uniform size, as far as possible. This 
gave rise to much controversy and uncertainty as to lines. 

"To make matters still worse, v(>ry few original government 
monuments remained and each surveyor, from time to time, 
established monuments in different places in accordance with his 
own theory. The situation became so acute that in 1882 (me 
Beniset Williams, of Chicago, was employed to resurvey and 
endeavor to establish the true lines. His work was a ccmipromise 
between the theories of the other two and a map was prepared 
showing the lines as located by each of the three surveys. There- 
upon an ordinance was enacted by the City Councd, in accoi'dance 
with the Williams survey, and all surveys made by the city since 
that time have been governed by this ordinance." 


On February 25, 1836, a postoffice called "Root River" was 
established, with A. B. Saxtcm as postmaster. Some authorities 
state that this postoffice was at the Rapids, but that statement 
cannot be fully verified. Mr. Saxton was succeeded, on May 19, 
1886, by Dr. B. B. Cary, who made his tirst report on the last day 
of June, showing the total receipts of the office since its estab- 
lishment to be $122.69, and the postmaster's commissions $37.79, 
or a little less than ten dollars a month. After the passage of 
the act by Congress creating the Territory of Wisconsin, the 
name of the office was changed to "Racine, Wisconsin Tenitory." 

For many years the jxistoffice was kept in such quarters as 
could ])e ol)tained by the different })ostmasters. At one time it 
was in the Blake & Elliott Block, on Main Street, and from there 
it went to the Cordon Block, on the corner of Main and Fifth 
Streets. Several efforts w^ere made to have C(mgress appropriate 
a sum of money for a postoffice building and, finally, through 
the persistency of the membei' (tf Congress from the First Dis- 



D. A. OLIN. 










.'»/ I-*WJ f^M.K / 



trict and the representations of inlliieiitial citizens of Racine, an 
appropriation of $50,001) was made. This snm was found insuffi- 
cient for the purchase of a site and tiie erection of a suitable build- 
ing- and a second api)roi)riation was secured, which swelled the 
amount to over $100,000. The Hakei' proi)erty, on the southeast 
corner of Sixth and ^lain Streets, was then purchased and the 
present building erected thereon. It was occupied in the fall 
of 1898. The cost of the building was $100,000 and the site is 
now valued at $50,000. 

In 1850 the office was made ])residential, and in 1882 the free 
delivery system was inaugurated, with five carriers. At the close 
of the fiscal year on June 30, 1916, there were ninety-two ])eople 
employed in connection with the office, to wit: Postmaster, assist- 
ant postmaster, 38 clerks, 2 sul)stitute clerks, 35 city carriers, 
6 substitute carriers, 4 rural carriers, 3 engaged in carrying the 
mails to and from the railroad stations, and 2 janitors. The 
receipts in 1915 reached $382,000 — quite a development since 
Dr. Gary made his first report on Jime 30, 1836, when the receipts 
amoimt'ed to $122.69. 

Following is a list of postnuisters, with the year when each 
was appointed or entered upon the duties of the position: A. B. 
.Saxton, A\ho served from February 25 to May 19, 1836; Dr. Bush- 
nell B. Gary, who took the office on May 19, 1836; Elias Smith, 
1841; Bushnell B. Gary, 1845; Eldad Smith, 1849 (Mr. Smith Avas 
the first postmaster appointed by the President; he was confirmed 
by the Senate on September 28, 1850) ; Tallmadge Stevens, 1853; 
Bushnell B. Gary, February 23, 1854; N. H. Joy, I860; John Tap- 
ley, 1861; William L. Utley, 1869; Henry W. Wright, 1877; Norton 
J.' Field, 1881; Glarence Snyder, 1886; Hiram J. Smith, 1890; 
Andrew Simonson, 1894; Jackson I. Gase, 1898; Hiram J. Smith, 
1902; Ghristopher G. Gittings, 1906; James E. Pritchard, 1910; 
George H. Herzog, 1915. 


About the time the Root River postoffice was established, or 
perhaps a little later, an act of Gongress authorized a mail route 
fi-om Ghicago to Green Bay, passing through the present Towns 
of Evanston, Waukegan, Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, West 
Bend, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton and 
Kaukauna. The carrier on this route was Alexis Glermont, who 


had served during the Black Hawk War as one of Colonel Tyler's 
"home defense" men at Port Howard. Pierre B. Grignon was 
the contractor and employed Clermont to carry the mail. He 
made his trips on foot, accompanied by an Oneida Indian. They 
depended on the Indian villages along the route and what game 
they could kill for their food, though each always carried a bag 
of parched corn "to fall back on" in case game was scarce or they 
were delayed in reaching one of the Indian villages. It required 
about a month for the roimd trip and the wages ranged from 
sixty to seventy dollars per month, owing to the season of the year. 

In 1892, when in the eighty-fifth year of his age, Alexis Cler- 
mont walked the entire distance over his old mail route from 
Green Bay to Chicago, a distance of 240 miles. He was dressed 
in the same kind of costume that he wore when carrying the mails 
sixty years before, and carried with him the mail pouch, his ilfle 
and the bag of parched corn. His object in making the journey 
was to raise money enough to "smooth his jjathway to the grave," 
but the receipts did not come up to his expectations. Friends in 
Chicago sent him back and he died at DePere, Brown County, 
Wisconsin, February 8, 1899. 

In 1839 a Concord wagon, drawn by two horses, was put on 
the mail route between Chicago and Milwaukee. In favorable 
weather the trip could ho made in two days. The mail driver 
also took passengers, which added to his income. The first night 
out from Chicago the stage reached Kenosha — sometimes after 
darkness had fallen — and by leaving there early the next morn- 
ing the driver and his passengers could take breakfast in Racine. 
Prom Racine they went west, crossed the old ])lank road (or 
where the old plank road was afterward biiilt), alxiut tw(^ miles 
from the village; then turned north and crossed the Root River 
on a bridge at Beardsley's tavern, where horses were changed; 
thence three miles or so in a northwesterly direction, and struck 
the Milwaukee road neai- the north line of the county. 

Another mail i-oute ran from Racine Avestward to IMineral 
Point, where it connected with routes running to Prairie du Chien 
and Dubuque. The first postoffice in this route was at Foxville 
(now Burlington). From that point the mail carrier passed 
through the present Towns of Whitewater, Jefferson, Madison 
and Dodgeville. On the return trip he followed a route farther 










f"i'l /•..-«. /S,*/. /SJ>.f 






south, through Darlington, Montict'llo, Jant'sville and Elkhorn 
to Burlington, and from there to Raeine. Eastern mails were 
carried on vessels around the lakes. In the summer months a 
letter from New York would reach Racine in about two weeks, 
but in bad weather it soniotinies woidd be a month, or even more, 
before the vessel reached the mouth of the Root River on its way 
to Chicago. 


During the years 1839 and 3840 there was quite a tide of 
immigration to Wisconsin and Racine received its share of the 
new comers. Among those who settled in the village in those 
two years were: S. B. Peck, John A. Carswell, Consider Heath, 
Delavan Wood, Eli R. Cooley, Truman G. Wright, Lucius S. Blake 
and Isaac Harmon. According to a statement in the first city 
directory (1850) Racine had a population in 1840 of about three 
hundred. The first number of the Racine Argus was issued on 
February 14, 1838, with Delavan Wood as editor. A few weeks 
later the paper contained an editorial setting forth the advantages 
of Racine, as follows: 

"We have a jail, two fine public houses (the Racine and the 
Fulton Hotels), a number of stores, dwelling houses, mechanics' 
shops, etc. It was first settled about three years ago. Its growth 
since that time, although not as rapid as some others, has been 
gradual and pennanent. While many places that, during the 
rage of speculation for the last two years, have outstripped us 
now retrograde, or at least have to stand still, for the country 
which sustains them to settle and improve, our march, not having 
been in advance of the surrounding country, which is now rapidly 
settling, ^vill continue onward. 

"A number of farmers in the immediate vicinity of this place, 
who struck the first blow on their farms only two years ago, have, 
during the past season, raised from one thousand to two thousand 
bushels of grain. No finer beef cattle can be found than those 
which graze on these prairies. Our Legislature at its last session 
Ijassed laws incorpcn-ating a bank here, with a capital of $200,000; 
a mutual fire insurance company; a railroad from this place to 
an extensive stone quarry about three miles distant, and also a 
railroad to Rock River, about sixty miles west. Congress last 
winter made an appropriation of $5,000 for a light-house at this 
place, which is to be erected this spring; and the committee re- 


poi'tcd ill I'avdi' (if a harhor licrc, hut the hill did not bccouic a law. 
The United States engineers reported that a harbor can be made 
here for $55,000. There is nijt a place in the Territory that prom- 
ises a more ra])id and ])ermanent growth." 

With the increase in population, and the citizens holding such 
optimistic views as those expressed in the Argus, the sentiment 
in favor of the iucor})oratioii was a perfectly natnral one. A 
movement to that end was started in 1840 and on February 13, 
1841, Governor Bodge approved "An act to incorporate the Vil- 
lage of Racine, in Racine County." An election for village officers 
was held early in April and resulted as follows: President, Dr. 
Elias Smith; Trustees, Alanson Filer, Sidney A. Sage, Marshall 
M. Strong and Consider Heath; Clerk, Levi S. Cary; Assessor, 
Amaziah Stebbins. 

The first meeting of the Village Board was held on April 12, 
1841, when Dr. Smith and Mr. Stebbins tendered their resigna- 
tions as president and assessor. The resignations were accepted 
and Alanson Filer was chosen president i)ro tem. But little busi- 
ness was transacted. Alfred Cary was appointed assessor, a tax 
levy of $300 was ordered for the expenses of the current year, 
and a special election was ordered for May 5, 1841, to elect a 
village president. Charles S. Wright was elected and was the 
first active pi-esident of the village. At a siibsequent meeting 
Levi S. Cary resigned as clerk and on November 13, 1841, Isaac 
Harmon was appointed to the vacancy. He continued to serve in 
that capacity as long as the village government lasted. 

During the first year, the principal business of the board 
was to improve the streets. When the town was first laid out a 
heavy gi'owth of timber marked the site. Trees were cut down, 
hut the stum]js were left standing in the streets, and in some 
of them the brush-wood had not lieen burned at the time Racine 
was incorporated. The first contract for street im{)r()vements 
was made with Socrates Hopkins, who agreed to remove the 
stumps and turn2)ike Main Street, from Second to Seventh, 125 
rods, for $1.00 per rod. S. H. Fenn was awarded a contract to 
remove the stumps from a portion of Sixth Street, and an appro- 
|)riation of $14.00 was made for sidewalks on Main Street, from 
Third to Fourth. Tlie clerk received $10.00 for his first year's 

Officei'8 were elected annually. The last election imder the 

View taken in '60s, showing ferry, warehouse, the Star Mills and old bridpe 



village charter was held in April, 1848. Those who served as 
]iresidents of the hoai'd while the village goveriiineiit was in 
existence were: Charles S. Wright, 1841 ; Bushnell B. Gary, 1842; 
M. B. ]\Iead, 184:1; Warren Cole, 1844; John A. Carswell, 1845; 
C. W. Spafard, 1846; C. W. White, 1847; VM R. Cooley, 1848. 

At the beginning of the year 1848 the population of Racine 
was estimated at nearly three thousand. Wisconsin was admitted 
to statehood on May 29, 1848, and a week later the first State 
Legislature assembled at Madison. Philo White was a Senator 
from Racine County, and in the House were Samuel E. Chapman, 
Julius L. Gilbert and David McDonald. Through their influence 
a bill was passed authorizing the incorporation of Racine as a city. 


The bill incorporating the City of Racine was approved by 
Governor Nelson Dew^ey on August 8, 1848. It contained fifty- 
eight sections and defined in detail how the city government 
should bo inaugurated, the duties of the various officers, etc. The 
president of the village was authorized to "designate some time 
in the month of October, 1848, for holding the first election, and 
shall appoint three suitable persons in each ward of the city to 
1)e judges of the first election under the provisions of this act, 
and also two suitable persons as clerks thereof in each ward." 
The act also defined the Ixiundaries of each of the five wards 
and further provided that the "Board of Trustees of the Village 
of Racine shall determine who shall have been properly elected 
at the first election; and the president of the Board of Trustees 
of said village shall administer the oath of office to the first mayor, 
and such mayor shall administer the oath of office to the several 
aldermen who have been declared to be dulv elected, and also to 

all other officers in said citv 


The officers to be elected were a mayor, clerk, treasurer, mar- 
shal, two aldermen from each ward, chief engineer of the fire 
department, and one assessor for each ward. At the election 
Reuben M. Norton was chosen mayor; Isaiah G. Parker, clerk; 
Charles G. Collins, treasurer; William L. Utley, marshal; William 
K. ]\Iay, S. C. Yout, Alanson Filer, Roswell IVIorris, Moses Vilas, 
Lucas Bradley, Sidney A. Sage, S. S. Hurlburt, Hosea L. Allen 
and George D. Fellows, aldermen; S. S. Dickinson, chief fire engi- 
neer; Alfred Gary and John W. Gary, assessors (only twT) elected). 


On October 6, 1848, the City Council met for the first time. 
Mayor Norton was sworn in by Eli R. Cooley, president of the 
Board of Trustees, who then retired from office and turned over 
the reins of oovernment to the new mayor. Marshall M. Strong 
was appointed city attorney and Moses Vilas was made city sur- 
veyor. The trustees submitted a statement showing the financial 
condition of the village, which was accepted, and the funds on 
band were turned over to Treasurer Collins, after which the 
meeting adjourned. 

Prom that time to the present the ordinary business and 
legislation of the city have gone forward in about the same man- 
ner as in other cities of the same class. The original charter has 
been amended; a Board of Puljlic Works was estaljlished that has 
charge of all public improvements; also a Fire and Police Com- 
mission that looks after the protection of the citizens and their 
property; and in 1905 a Park Board was created. Following is 
a list of the mayors of Racine from 1848 to 1916, with the year 
in which they entered upon the duties of the office, and each 
served until the election and qualification of his successor: Reu- 
l)en M. Norton, 1848; Henry Bryan, 1849; Eli R. Cooley, 1850; 
William H. Waterman, 1851; William T. Richmond, 1852; David 
McDonald, 1853; George Wustum, 1855; Jerome I. Case, 1856; 
John W. Cary, 1857; Jerome I. Case, 1858; W. W. Vaughan, 1859; 
Jerome I. Case, 1860; George C. Northrop, 1861; Alvin Raymond, 
1862; George C. Northrop, 1863; Thomas Falvey, 1864; Joshua 
W. Hart, 1865; George A. Thomson, 1866; M. B. Erskine, 1869; 
Reuben Doud, 1872; R. H. Baker, 1874; Reuben Doud, 1875; John 
G. Meacham, 1876; Ernest J. Hueffner, 1879; M. B. Erskine, 1880; 
W. P. Packard, 1881 ; T. G. Fish, 1883; M. M. Secor, 1884; Joseph 
Miller, 1885; D. A. Olin, 1886; M. M. Secor, 1888; F. L. Mitchell, 
1889; Ad()li)h Weber, 1890; Jackson I. Case, 1891 ; David G. Janes, 
1895; Frederick Graham, 1897; ^Michael Higgins, 1899; Peter B. 
Nelson, 1904; A. J. Horlick, 1907; W. S. Goodland, 1911; T. W. 
Thiesen, 1915. 


The first move toward the establishment of a fire department 
was made while Racine was still under the village government. 
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on January 22, 1843, the 
constitution and by-laws of "Fire Company, Engine No. 1," were 
presented by Alanson Filei% and the l)oavd adopted a resolution 


recognizing the company as authorized by the village to extin- 
guish fires. It was a volunteer company, and it may be interest- 
ing to the people of Racine to know who were the first men in 
the city to offer their services in ease of fire. Following is the 
j-oster of the company: Foreman, Ludlow F. Lewis; members, 
W. R. P. Armstrong, Albert H. Blake, Edwin S. Blake, Edward 
Brink, William D. Busbee, Louis Butterfield, J. R. Carpenter, 
Jr., William F. Cole, Edwin Colvin, Eli R. Cooley, Lucius Cooper, 
Henry F. Cox, Jr., Ira Dean, Sidney S. Dickinson, George D. 
Fellows, Alanson Filer, Elihu Filer, G. C. Flagg, Edwin Gould, 
S. F. Heath, H. D. Hott, John J. Humphrey, Benjamin Kelley, 
Joseph C. Knapp, Samuel G. Knight, A. H. Lee, C. M. Mann, 
Henry L. Marsh, ]\Iatthew B. Mead, F. H. Orvis, I. N. Parker, 
Benjamin K. Perkins, John Ramsdell, William T. Richmond, 
Charles F. Rogers, F. M. Rublee, A. C. St. John, Charles Smith, 
Edward W. Smith, C. W. Spafard, James M. Sprague, George 
G. Stevens, Marshall M. Strong, James M. Titus, J. A. Titus, 
Moses Vilas, William H. Waterman, Chester W. WTiite, Theo. 
J. Wisner. 

In this list will l)e recognized some of the most prominent 
men of that day. Three members of the company afterward 
served as mayors of the city, four as presidents of the Village 
Board, and Marshall M. Strong and Alanson Filer represented 
Racine County in the Legislature. The company was equipped 
with hand engine of the crank piston variety, built by Russell 
Skinner, of Racine, and a limited supply of hose. Such a fire 
company now would be a laughing stock, but old "No. 1" was 
the ])ride of Racine at the time it was organized. 

On February 23, 1843, at a special meeting of the Board of 
Trustees, the constitution and by-laws of "Hook and Ladder 
Company, No. 1," were presented by B. B. Jones. By resolution 
of the board, the company was made a part of the fire department, 
but the membership of the company was limited to forty. 

The Racine Engine Company was organized early in the year 
1846, and on the 25th of Ai)ril it was accepted b}^ the Board of 
Trustees. At the same time the hook and ladder company was 
reorganized. Thus remained the Racine fire dejiartment until 
after the incorporation of the city in 1848. Sidney S. Dickinson 
was elected chief fire engineer at the first city election, though lit- 
tle was done in 1848 toward the reorganization of the department, 


farther than the passage of an (irdinanee defiuing the duties of 
the chief engineer and his assistants, etc. In 1849 Elijah N. Aikin 
was elected chief engineer and the real fire department can be 
said to date from this year. 

In June, 1849, the No. 1 Company was reorganized, with C. W. 
Spafard as foreman and fifty-three members. The old Riissell 
Skinner engine was discarded and one of more modern type 
purchased. The hook and ladder coni])any Avas also reorganized 
under the name of "Protection Hook and Ladder Company, 
No. 1," with Thomas W. Wright as foreman and a membership 
of thirty. Engine Company No. 2 was oi'ganized a little later, 
with sixty-one members and Sterling P. Rounds as foreman, and 
before the close of the year a third company was organized. It 
was composed almost entirely of ^^'elshmen, numbered forty 
members and was under the foremanship of Evan Lewis. Three 
new engines were )>urchased in 1849. They were l)uilt by Ij. 
Button & Company, of Racine. The one Avhich took the place 
of the old Skinner engine was called the "Racine"; Company 
No. 2 called their engine the "Fire King"; and Company No. 3 
christened theirs the "Star of the West". A little later three 
engine houses were built for the three companies. No. 1 was 
located on the corner of Fourth and Wisconsin Streets; No. 2, 
on Main, near Second; and No. 3, on Seventh, between Main 
and Wisconsin. 

On January 4. 1866, about fou]- (('cldck in the morning, fire 
was discovered in a blacksmith shop on the north side of Fifth 
Street, not far from Wisconsin Street. A keen northwesterly 
wind was blowing and the flames were soon conmuuiicated to 
Buffham's paint shop, next door east, and in a short time the 
adjoining buildings were ignited. The mercury was below zero 
and the department worked at gi-eat disadvantage in their efforts 
to control the flames. The Racine House, the old historic tavern 
erected in 1837, although across the street, caught fire and the 
flying sparks from that building ignited St. Luke's Church. All 
the buildings from the hotel to the court-house were burned, and 
the total loss was estimated at nearly two hundred thousand 
dollars. This was the most destructive fire in Racine up to that 
time and it demonstrated the fact that the fire department as 
then cdiistituted was unable to co])e with a real conflagration. 

Dvn'ing the spring and summer following the great fire, vari- 




ous snsgcstions woro mado for the inii)i'(»vement of the depart- 
iiieiit. and on 0('t()l)ei' 1, 1S(J7, the II. ('. Silsl).v Company, of 
Seneca Falls, New Yoi'k, brought a steairi fire engine to Racine 
and tested it in the presence of the committee appointed for the 
purpose by the City Covmcil. Thv. test was reported as "entirely 
satisfactory," so the engine was ])nrchased and named the "Gem 
of the Lakes." It was placed in the hands of the old No. 1 Com- 
pany, whose hand engine was taken to the Fourth Ward and 
placed in service there as the "Racine No. 4," a new company 
having been formed to take charge of it, part of the old company 
following the engine to its new quarters. The first time the steam 
fire engine! was called into service was at the Clancy fire, corner 
of Main and Fourth Streets. Owing to the fact that no provision 
had been made for taking the "Gem of the Lakes" to fires, it 
was drawn to the Clancy fire In^ hand. This, coupled with the 
inexperience of the men in handling steam engines, caused so 
nmch delay that the old "Star of the West" Company had a 
stream of water playing on the fire before the steamer could get 
into action. So nnich sport was made of the new engine, from 
which so much had been ex])ecte(l, that the company disbanded. 
Men were then constantly employed to take charge of the steamer 
and a team was engaged to draw it to fires. This Was the first 
step toward a paid fire department. 

On April 6, 1868, the council passed an ordinance establish- 
ing fire limits, within which buildings must conform to certain 
regulations. Engine House No. 2 was remodeled for the steamer 
and the old hand engine there was sold to the Town of West Bend. 
In 1871 the council purchased a second Silsby engine, which was 
known as "L. S. Blake, No. 2"; hand engine No. 3 was sold to 
Savannah, Illinois, and the "Gem of the Lakes" was renamed 
the "John Vaughan." After several more years of service it was 
considered unfit for further use and turned back to the Silsby 
Manufacturing Company as part payment for the steamer "John 
G. Meacham." In September, 1877, the fire marshal sold hand 
engine No. 4 to the Town of Burlington, Wisconsin, and a chem- 
ical engine — the "Henry Mitchell" — took its i^lace. It was a 
good piece of apparatus in its day, but the improvements in fire- 
fighting machinery finally relegated it to the scrap pile. 

In 1883 the department was made a full paid institution and 
since that time the city has not depended upon "volunteers" to 


extinguish fires. The hist puhlished report of the City of Racine 
shows six engine houses, with forty-three men on the pay-roll, 
which amounted to $42,810 for the year. The equipment was 
valued at $50,526, exclusive of the value of the buildings and 
grounds. INIore than half of the fire apparatus of the city is now 
of the auto-motor type and of the most approved designs. 

Today fire-fighting is a regular business, but the members 
of the paid fire department miss many of the pleasurable inci- 
dents of the old volunteer days. Sterling P. Rounds, who was 
foreman of the old "Fire King" Company, and who afterward 
went to Chicago, in writing to a friend in Racine, recounted a 
numl>er of happenings wdiile he was comiected with the company. 
He says: 

"It was comjiosed of the young business men and 'live' boys 
of the town. It was named 'Fire King,' after the crack company 
of Buffalo, of which its foreman had recently been secretary. The 
neat brick engine house at the foot of Main Street was built for 
it. The first trial of the engine, on its arrival at Perry Button's 
pier, was a success and the boys w^ere delighted. Very soon after 
it came, a fire occurred on the hill (since graded down) west of 
the engine house and, as the boys had to take water from the 
river, a very long distance, there was some delay. One of the 
aldei-men, who had opposed the purchase of the engine, impa- 
tiently remarked: 'Now that we want firemen, they are not on 
hand; where is this boasted new company?' The words were 
scarcely out of his mouth when the stream of water filled the 
long line of hose, and Bill McCarty, who held the pipe and who 
had listened with disgust to the 'blowmg' of the old fraud, turned 
the nozzle upon him. His hat went one way, the aldennan the 
other, and he was fully aware where the new company was. 

"At the great tournament which took place at Chicago in 
the fall of 1850, where were gathered the crack companies from 
Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Milwaukee and other cities, 
both the Racine companies were present. The sixty wide-awake 
young fellows of No. 2 attracted much attention. After the 
parade, and at the competition, though seventh in the line of 
twenty-two companies, at the word, 'Break line and take water,' 
we divided the honors with No. 9 of Buffalo of having the first 
water through the hose, and at the burning of the old 'Tremont,' 
the following night, had the first water on the fire, though Sol 





11.*—^" - Y 9r !i^, 


^^* "^^ ^ 


WiUiam Weinecke, Thomas Buckley. Erastus Packard, Elias Pritchard and George Covert. 

Seated. Richard Thronson. 


Top Row : C. Anderson, T. Miller. P. Matson. J. Rowan, L. Groebel, C. Sorenson and G. Ruber. 
Lower Row: H. Pritchard. T. Clark, W. Mills and J. Drew. 


Cather and 'Dar' ;Nrunr()e did fall in the fistem when 'taking 

"The Racine companies went to Chicago and returned by 
boat. Tliey arrived at Racine about midnight, but somehow the 
news of the honorable record made at the tournament had pre- 
ceded them and it seemed as if the entire population had turned 
out to welcome the boys home. Bonfires were lighted, the old 
cannon was brought out, and salute after salute was fired as the 
steamboat hove in sight, while cheer upon cheer greeted the boys 
as they landed at the pier, and followed them to their engine 
houses. Nor were they allowed to go to their beds. Groups 
gathered at the 'Empire,' the 'St. Charles' and other popular 
places of resort, and as the story was repeated the enthusiasm 
grew wilder and more noisy until daylight appeared." 


When Racine was incorporated under the act of August 8, 
1848, the only police officer provided for was the city marshal. 
As the city grew, the marshal was authorized to appoint deputies 
from time to time. For ten years the marshal, his deputies and 
the county sheriff discharged all the duties of a police force, but 
on October 18, 1858, the City Council voted to establish a police 
system. Ten days later Andrew Dusolt was appointed chief of 
police: William Finch was appointed patrolman on November 5, 
1858, and F. E. Clark was made the third member of the force 
on January 3, 1859. 

About a week after the great Chicago fire in October, 1871, 
owing to the excitement and the great demand for precautionary 
measures, a number of extra patrolmen were ajopointed and w^ere 
under the control of Lewis Dickinson, the city marshal. This 
arrangement was only temporary, however, and after the excite- 
ment quieted down the extra men were dismissed. During the 
next nine years an additional patrolman was appointed now and 
then, xmtil in 1880 the force consisted of the marshal, chief and 
nine patrolmen, or eleven men in all. 

According to the last published report of the Board of Fire 
and Police Commissioners, the Racine police force now consists 
of thii'ty-five men, to wit: One chief, one captain, three sergeants, 
two detectives, one lineman and twenty-seven patrolmen. The 


cost of the force for the year 1914 — the year included m the 
report — was $33,218.74. 

Few cities the size of Racine are better provided with fire 
and police protection. And it is greatly to the credit of the city 
that some years ago a pension fund was started for the firemen 
and policemen, so that when a man grows old in the service he 
can be retired with the assurance that he will not be in absolute 
want in his old age. At the close of the year 1914 the firemen's 
pension fund amoimted to $20,134.85. of which $19,000 was in- 
vested in interest bearing seciu-ities, and the police pension fund 
had reached $16,279.84, with $15,000 invested in Ixmds. 


Prior to 1905 the C'ity of Racine had no public parks. In his 
annual message of that year to the City Council, Peter B. Nelson, 
then mayor of the city, called attention to the need of public 
parks, in order to get the matter in tangible shape, on January 
25, 1905, Mayor Nelson appointed the following citizens members 
of a park conunission: C. R. Carpenter, Michael Iliggins, A. C. 
Hanson, F. L. Norton and Andrew^ Simonson. At the April elec- 
tion following, the question of issuing bonds to the amount of 
$50,000 for the purchase of lands and the establishment of ]niblic 
parks. The ])roposition was defeated by a vote of 2,237 to 1,473. 
Racine was therefore in the peculiar situation of having a park 
commission with nothing to do. The outlook was certainly not 
encouraging, ])ut Mayor Nelson and the park commission refused 
to give up the fight for public i^arks. As a beginning, the board 
])etitioned the City Council to set aside for park purposes a strip 
of land off the east and south sides of Mound Cemetery, extending 
fi'(,ni West Sixth Street to 1A\-elfth Street and from the top of 
the bluff to the Root River. The petition was granted and the 
ti-act of land was named Riverside Park. 

In June, 1905, the board asked the council to appn)priate 
$1,000, on condition that the board raise a like sum by subscrip- 
tion, which tlie council agreed to do, and the canvass for funds 
began. Before the close of the year $4,000 had been subscribed, 
one of the first and largest lieing that of the Woman's Club of 
$1,000. With this $5,000 as a working fund the board secured 
an option of Horlick Park, north of Sixth Street, which was 
finally purchased l\v William Horlick and donated to the city. 


hence the name. Jens Jensen, a hnndseape gardener of Chieago, 
was engaged to outline a general plan for a park system. 

The next stej) was to secure an ()])tiou on ten acres of gntuiid 
lying hctwccii Ilorlick Park <iii the west and the Root River for 
$5,000. The day before the option expired the subject was 
])rought to the attention of William Mitchell Lewis, who ])ur- 
chased the tract and i^resented it to the city for a playground. 
Later Mr. Lewis gave $5,000 toward the improvement of the park, 
which is now known as Lewis Field. 

As early as October 24, 1905, the park board entered into a 
lease and o})tion of purchase with Charles Erskine for the forty- 
seven acres comprising AVashington Park. The lease was to run 
for three years from September 15, 1905, and just before its 
expiration the boai'd exercised its option and purchased the 
ground for $20,487.50, giving to the city a park of unusual beauty. 
In his report inunediately following the purchase, A. A. Fisk, 
sujjcrintendent of parks, said: "Washington Park will ever l)e 
the popular picnic park because of the natural w-oodland. The 
woods should ever be retained in its wild condition. Its natural 
beauty far surpasses anything that eoidd otherwise be created." 

The North Shore or Bathing Beach Park was purchased from 
James Cape & Sons in July, 1908, for $10,000, and money for the 
erection of a suitable bath house was raised by subscription within 
a week. A life line was strung on ])osts, which were driven into 
the bottom of the lake, and a life boat was anchored at a con- 
venient point for use in emergencies. The operating expenses 
have been met by the small rentals received for bathing suits, 
towels and dressing booths, and the bathing beach is one of Ra- 
cine's popular resorts during the warm weather. 

Lake Shore Park, fronting the lake between Thirteenth and 
Sixteenth Streets, was donated to the city by Andrew Simonson, 
r. R. Carpenter, W. M. Lewis and George D. Fellows, giving to 
the city more than two blocks on the bluff overlooking the lake 
at that point. This is not a large park. Itut it has proved to be 
a popidar restini;- place for the people in that section of the city. 

On July <i, 1905, Judge J. E. Dodge donated to the city 170 
feet on Wisconsin Street, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth 
Streets. This was named Dodge Park. Other small parks are: 
East Park, West Park, Monument and St. Clair Squares, Colbert 
and Simonson Parks, Lutz Square, and the ends of Seventh, 


Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Ekivonth and Seventeenth Streets, from 
Lake Avenue to the lake. These will never become as popular 
as the larger parks, with their golf links, tennis courts, etc., but 
when the plans of the park commission are carried out each one 
of them will become a beauty spot foi" the people of Racine to 
gaze upon with pleasure. 

The general system of parks, as outlined by Mr. Jensen and 
approved by the park board, contemplates the connecting of the 
larger parks by driveways, such as Riverside Drive and Carlisle 
Boulevard, and when completed the city will have a park system 
of which every citizen — even those who voted against the bond 
issue in 1905 — may well be proud. 


On March 12, 1882, J. S. Foster, of Chicago, addressed the 
Racine City Council on the subject of waterworks. At that time 
the city had no authority to put in waterworks along the lines 
suggested by Mr. Foster's address, and on the 14th a committee 
of the council, to whom the matter had been referred, recom- 
mended legislation that would enable the city to enter into a 
contract with any cf)mpany to build a system that would supply 
the city with water. During the legislative session, in the winter 
of 1882-83, a special law was enacted giving the city the desired 
authority, and on May 7, 1883, the council passed an ordinance 
granting to the Holly Manufacturing Company, of Lockport, 
New York, a franchise for twenty-five years to build, equip and 
operate a waterworks plant for the purpose of supplying the 
City of Racine with water, and including the exclusive privilege 
of laying mains upon the streets of the city. 

The Holly Company failed to exercise the privileges granted 
by the franchise ordinance, and on March 18, 1886, a franchise 
was granted to the Racine Water Company. This ordinance was 
api)roved by Mayor Joseph IMiller the next day and was accepted 
by A. II. Howland, president of the comjjany. The new company 
went to work immediately upon a plant. A pumping station was 
built on the lake shore just north of the Root River, a stand pipe 
of steel with a capacity of 330,480 gallons was erected on Tenth 
Street, and a twenty-four inch cast iron pipe was run out 7,240 
feet into the lake, where the end was turned up and is encased 
in a crib. The stand pipe was afterward encased with brick, 





with a roof of conerotc and a castellated toj). The daily pnni])iii,2: 
capacity of the plant is 8,500,000 gallons. The first section of 
main was laid on July 1, 1886, water was first turned into the 
mains on January 11, 1887, the water tower was filled on the 27th 
of the same month, and on February 1, 1887, the first private 
consumers were supplied. 

The franchise granted by the ordinance of March 18, 1886, 
was for twent3'-five years. Upon its expiration in 1911 some of 
the citizens expressed themselves in favor of having the city pur- 
chase the plant and give Racine a municipal waterworks, but 
nothing definite along that line has been done up to this time. 
It is probable, however, that within a few years the works will 
be owned by the city. 


On February 24, 1855, Governor William A. Barstow ap- 
l)i-oved an act of the Wisconsin Legislature incorporating the 
"Racine Gas Light and Coke Company." A meeting of the stock- 
holders was held on April 16, 1855, when A. P. Button was elected 
president; J. B. Rowley, secretary, and G. C. Northrop, treasurer. 
At a second meeting, held on May 9, 1855, the president and sec- 
retary were authorized to make a contract with the firm of 
Parkins, Harper & Company, of Chicago, for the erection of a 
gas works for $40,000. In 1866 the Legislature annulled the char- 
ter of the company and passed an act incorporating the "Racine 
Gas Light Company," which purchased the works and began 
business with a capital stock of $41,000. The capital stock was 
increased to $100,000 about 1877 and continued to furnish the 
people of Racine with gas until the comjoany was merged into the 
Wisconsin Gas and Electric Company, a few years ago. 

On June 20, 1887, the City Council passed an ordinance 
granting to John Rodgers, "his heirs, associates or assigns," 
the right tf) use the streets and alleys of the city for the erection 
of poles and the nmning of wires to supply the people with 
electric light. This was the first move toward an electric light 
plant in Racine. Mr. Rodgers evidently failed to establish his 
plant in accordance with the tenns of the ordinance, for on March 
11, 1892, the Belle City Street Railway Comj^any was granted a 
franchise to furnish electricity for lighting purposes. The light 
plant established under this franchise was afterward turned over 


to the Milwaukee J'^lectric Railway (ii Light Cuni})any wlieu it 
acquired the Belle City fStreet Railway system. 


111 addition to the uiuiiicipal utilities and advantaj;'es enu- 
merated in this chapter, the City of Racine has a substantial 
city hall, erected in 188;'> on the southeast corner of Main and 
Third Streets, in which are the city offices, council ('liainl)er, etc. 
At the close of the year 1914 the sewer system included over 
eighty miles of sewer, put in at a cost of $649,642.62. There are 
thirty-five miles of brick and asphalt paved streets, which cost 
$1,311,271.15, and many miles of excellent cement sidewalks. The 
city has a fine piddic library, with about ten thousand volumes 
of well selected books, a number of fine school t)uildings and 
church edifices, and many jjretty residences. Its manufacturing, 
mercantile and banking interests compare favorably with those 
of other cities of its size. With a po])ulation of over forty thou- 
sand and property assessed at $55,770,026; with a wide-awake, 
jjrogressive people; with its excellent transportation facilities, 
both by lake and railroad, Racine has well earned the appellation 
it has so long l)orne of "The Belle City of the Lakes." 




In the settlement of the states <>f the MidcUe West there 
developed a sort of mania on the part of speculators for laying 
off towns, the prineipal object having been the sale of lots to 
new comers, or to people in the older states. Through some for- 
tunate circumstance, such as the location of a county seat, the 
building of a railroad, or the development of a water power, some 
of tliese towns grew to be business centers of considerable im- 
portance. Others, less favored, became small railroad stations, 
neighborhood trading posts or postofifices for a certain locality. 

Racine County was not as badly afflicted with this craze as 
some localities, though a number of towns were laid out within 
its limits. A few of these have survived, others have disappeared 
from the map, and it is quite probal)le that none of them has meas- 
ui'cd u]» to the expectations of the founders. From a careful ex- 
amination of old records, plat-books and atlases, the following 
list of towns — past and present — of Racine County has been 
compiled. The list includes every village, rural postoffice, or 
settlement that has been distinguished by a name, to wit: Beau- 
mont, Burlington, Caldwell Prairie, Caledonia, Corliss, Dover, 
Poxville, Franksville, (Jatliff, Honey Creek, Horlicksville, 
Husher, Ives Grove, Ives Station, Kansasville, Kilbournville, 
Kneeland, Lamberton, Linwood, Noi-th Cape, North Racine, Ray- 
mond Center, Rochester, Rosewood, Sylvania, Tabor, Thompson- 
ville. Union Church, Union Grove, Waterford, Willow Creek and 

Not many of the places in the above list have a recorded 
liistory. Fewer than a dozen of them were officially laid out and 
the plats filed in the. office of the register of deeds. The others, 
like Topsy in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," "just growed." Only one 
has attained to the rank of a city, and but four others are incor- 
porated villages according to the laws of the state. Some have 


entirely perished, and in a few instances the exact location of 
the town as originally contemplated is uncertain. It is, therefore, 
ini})()ssible to give a fnll and authentic history of each one, but 
such facts concerning them as the writer could gather from avail- 
able sources are given below. 


Seventeen miles west of Racine, in Dover Township, was 
once a rui-al postoffice called Beaumont. Its exact location was 
in the south side of Sections 2 and 3, Township 3, Range 20. The 
postoffice was discontinued upon the introduction of the rural 
free delivery system, and the people living in the northern part 
of Dover Township receive mail through the office at Kansas- 
ville. There is little left of Beaumont except the name. 


With the exception of Racine, the history of which is given 
in the preceding chapter, Burlington is the only city in the county. 
It is pleasantly situated at the junction of the Fox and White 
Rivers, in the western part of Burlington Township, about twenty- 
five miles from Racine. According to Judge Charles E. Dyer, 
the first white men to settle in that part of the county were Moses 
Smith and William Wliiting, who came to the Fox River Valley 
in Decemljer, 1835, and the former is credited with having built 
the first house within the present city limits. He located his 
claim on the west side of the Fox River, where in May, 1836, 
he built a log house, having passed the winter in a hastily con- 
structed shanty on the east side, in company with Mv. Whiting, 
B. C. Perce and Lenuiel Smith. In connection with Samuel C. 
Vaughan, he built a saw-mill, with a v\m of l)uhrs for grinding 
corn. It was not much of a mill, as compared with the flour mills 
of the present day, but it could "crack corn" and soon became 
laiown for miles aromid. 

Late in the year 1838 Pliny M. Perkins, a miller by trade, 
canu" to Burlington and l)ought the mill and water power from 
Smith & Vaughan. He had a little capital and built a frame mill 
with "three run of stone," two of which were grinding wheat 
and one for corn. Eight years later he built the "big mill," as 
it was called — 40 by 60 feet and four stories in height. It was 
destroyed by fire in 1864, but he immediately rebuilt. Again he 
was burned out in 1874, though he had retired three years before. 


k'uvinii; the mill iu charge of his two sons, Edward and James. 
Then a large stone mill was erected that at the time it was com- 
pleted was considered the l)est in Southeastern Wisconsin and 
which was for many years one of Burlinii+on's leading enterprises. 
Mr. Perkins was the first miller in Wisconsin to ship flour to 
New York, \ia the lakes, and Milwaukee depended largely upon 
Burlington in those days for its bread supply. Subseq-uently the 
Burlington Mills shipped floui' in large quantities to European 

At the land sale in Milwaukee, in the spring of 1839, the 
original site of Burlington — the northeast quarter of Section 32, 
Township 3, Range 19, was purchased by Silas Peck, who em- 
ployed A. W. Doolittle, then county surveyor, to plat the town. 
The survey was made by Mr. Doolittle on May 21, 1839, and at 
the same time Mv. Perkins employed him to lay out "Pliny M. 
Perkins' First Addition." Both i)lats w^ere filed with the register 
nf deeds three days later. Perkins' second addition to Burlington 
was filed on April 9, 1850. 

Quite a little settlement had grown u]), however, before the 
town was regidarly laid out. In January, 1836, Enoch D. Wood- 
bridge built a log house on the east side of the Fox River. It 
was afterward occupied by Ruel Nims, who came about a year 
later, enlarged the house and opened the first tavern in what is 
now the City of Burlington. James Nelson, the first blacksmith, 
opened his shop in May, 1836, and the following nu)nth B. C. 
Perce erected a building for a store on the bank of the river 
overlooking Smith & Vaughan's mill pond. Silas Peck, who aft- 
erward became the proprietor of the town, also came in 1836 
and built his house next to Perce's store. Early in the year 1837 
a ])(»stofifice was established under the name of "Foxville," and 
Moses Smith was appointed the first postmaster. It was on the 
mail route from Racine to Mineral Point and received mail 
weekly. Before the establishment of the |)ostoffice the settlement 
was known as the "Lower Forks," the "Upper Forks" being 
where the Muskego Creek enters the Fox River, at the present 
Village of Rochester. 

After the removal of the Indians to the west side of the 
Mississippi River in 1837, the settlement of Racine County went 
forward with greater strides, and the little colony at the "Lower 
Forks" received its share of immigrants. Lewis Royce, a lawyer 


from \"cini(mt, caiiic to i)iirlington and built his house a short 
distance west of wliere the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road Station was afterward established. Not finding many cli- 
ents, he built a lime kiln and burnt about three hundred bushels 
the first year he was engaged in the business. Origen Perkins 
also located there in 1837. He built his house near the place 
where the brick yard was later opened and was the first justice 
of the peace. Among those who settled in the village in 1838 
were Liberty Fisk and Henry Etbnonds, the latter opening a 
blacksmith shop not far from the mill. Miss Sarah Bacon taught 
the first school in the smnmer of 1838, in a house that faced the 
public square, but was afterward removed to Chestnut Street. 
She was engaged by Lewis Royce, who was later a member of 
the first Board of School Commissioners. 

Dr. Edward (1. Dyer, the first physician, came in 1839, about 
the time the town was platted by Mr. Doolittle, and took up his 
residence in the log house built by Origen Perkins, who had 
removed to his farm. Other settlers of 1839 were Richard Brown, 
L. O. Eastman and E])hraim Perkins, the father of Pliny M. and 
Origen Perkins. On July 4, 1839, a "(irand Celebration" was 
held in the grove on the east side of the Fox River, probably the 
first in that part of Wisconsin. Stephen Eushnell furnished the 
dimier and Rev. Jas(m Lothro}) delivered the principal address. 
Thus these pioneers, far from the "busy haunts of men," did 
not forget that they wei-e American citizens, and demonstrated 
their loyalty to the })rinciples of the Declaration of Independence. 

Although B. C. Perce erected a building for a store in 1836, 
he did not engage in business as a merchant. The honor of being 
the first merchant in Burlington belongs to Pliny M. Perkins, 
who put in a small stock of goods in the log house built by Moses 
Smitli. He began business in 1839, l)ut the following year he 
and Hugh McLaughlin erected a large frame building, the west 
half of which was used by Mr. Perkins as a store and in the 
east half Mr. McLaughlin opened the "Burlington Hotel," which 
he kept for several years. The building was dedicated on New 
Yeai-'s evening, in 1840, by a gi-and l)all. 

(lame was plentiful around the village and a large ])art of 
Mr. Perkins' trade was in powder, lead and shot, taking in ex- 
change muskrat and other skins. In the winter of 1839-40 David 
Bushnell counted 105 deer in a single herd, as they forded the 

I t It tt 


''<4i-, iMf 

Buildinp: in left foreground was Titus Hall, on site of present Manufacturers' Bank 



river near liis claiiii. Lun^-hillcd snipe, jn-airie chickens and 
other small game fowl were abundant and afforded a fair mark 
for the hunter. 

In 1843 Pliny M. Perkins erected the first woolen mill in 
Racine County on the bank of Fox River, directly opposite his 
grist mill. It was 35 l)y 60 feet and two stories high above the 
basement. Thii'ty years later he enlarged the building to 50 by 
100 feet and added two stories to its height. With its enlarged 
cajiacity Mr. Perkins used from 75,000 to 100,000 pounds of wool 

In 1855 the Racine & Mississippi Railroad (now the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul) was completed to Burlington and the 
town experienced its first boom. Some twenty years later the 
Chicago & Fond dn Lac Division of the Wisconsin Central was 
Imilt and not long after it was completed the preliminary steps 
were taken to incorporate Burlington as a village according to 
the laws of Wisconsin. The incorporation \Vas not completed, 
lidwever, until 1886. On July 28, 1886, a census was taken and 
showed a population of 1,744 within the territory it Avas proposed 
to include in the village limits. A petition was then filed with 
the circuit court on the 27th of September. The court granted the 
petition and ordered an election on the question to be held on the 
3d of November. The proposition was carried by a substantial 
majority and on November 30, 1886, the first village officers were 
elected, to wit: E. ^lerton, president; F. Reuschlein, clerk; Hubert 
Wagner. J. B. Bnell, Frank Schemmer, B. Brehm, C. W. Wood 
and R. T. Davis, trustees. 

Early in the year 1900 Burlington was incorporated as a city. 
The first city election was held on April 3, 1900, and resulted as 
follows: G. C. Rasch, mayor; George W. Waller, city clerk; 
L. J. Brehm, city treasurer; Louis A. Reuschlein, assessor; Wil- 
liam A. Colby, R. M. Aldrich, S. M. Reinard and F. G. Richard- 
son, supervisors — one from each of the four wards. There were 
also elected two aldermen from each ward, viz.: First Ward, C. B. 
Wagner and Edward F. Rakow; Second Ward, William Meadows 
and Charles A. Jones; Third Ward, John Reynolds and Charles 

Following is a list of the mayors of Burlington, with the year 
when each was elected: G. C. Rasch, 1900; Edward F. Rakow, 
1901: Charles B. Wagner, 1903; J. G. IMntter, 1904; Edward F. 


Rakow, 1907; H. E. Zimmerman, 1908; Edward F. Rakow, 1912; 
H. A. Runkel, 1915. 

Waterworks — On October 12, 1889, the Villa<;e Board passed 
an ordinance submitting to the voters the proposition to issue 
bonds to an amount not exceeding $20,000 for the purpose of 
establishing a system of waterworks. A majority expressed 
themselves in favor of the bonds, but, as is usual in such cases, • 
some delay was experienced in the building of the plant. The 
supply of water conies from artesian wells and is noted for its 
purity. Very few cities of similar size are better supplied with 
water of as fine a quality. The plant is owned by the city. 

An electric light plant was built by a private company about 
twenty years ago. When the ^lilwaukee Electric Railway & 
Light Comj^any built the interurban line to Burlington it acquired 
the local light plant and is still operating it, after making a num- 
ber of needed improvements. 

The Burlington Gas Comjiany was established in 1907. The 
officers in 1916 were: H. A. Runkel, president; W. H. Bushman, 
secretary; Edward F. Rakow, manager. The company has a 
modern plant, about twelve miles of mains, and is now operated 
in connection with the Wisconsin Gas & Electric Company. 

The postoffice previously mentioned as having been estab- 
lished in the early part of 1837, under the name of Foxville, has 
developed until the receipts for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 
1916, amounted to $15,515.68. Free city delivery was introduced 
on June 15, 1908. Besides the postmaster and assistant post- 
master, the office now employs three city carriers, one parcels 
t)Ost carrier, six rural carriers, one substitute carrier, five clerks 
and one substitute clerk, or nineteen persons in all. The Burling- 
ton office is also the source of a star mail route, which carries mail 
to the postoffices at Rocliester and Waterford. Congress recently 
made an appropriation of $72,000 for a new postoffice building. 

Among the Burlington manufacturing interests are a brass 
foundry, a large veneer and basket works, a blanket factory which 
has recently established a branch in Chicago, brick and tile works, 
a condensed milk plant, a vending machine factory, and a number 
of smaller concerns, such as cigar factories, etc. The city has 
well ])ave(l streets, good sidewalks, a number of fine churches, 
a good public school system, two banks, two weekly newspapers, 
a telephone exchange, good hotels, an opera house, a Business 


Men's Association, and a number of cozy homes. The popula- 
tion in 1910 was 3,212, an increase of 686 during the preceding 
decade, and in 1915 the assessed valuation of the property was 



Old maps of Racine Covmty show a postoffice by this name 
in the northwest corner of the county, located in Section 5, Tot\ti- 
ship 4, Range 19. It took its name from Joseph and Tyler Cald- 
well, who settled there in the spring of 1836. Caldwell Prairie 
was never platted as a town and the postoffice has long since been 
discontinued. The jieople living in that section now receive mail 
by rural free delivery. 


A few miles north of Racine, on the Chicago & Northwestern 
Railroad, is the little Vilage of Caledonia, in the township of the 
same name. It was never officially platted and was formerly 
known as "Stern's Crossing." Polk's Gazetteer of Wisconsin for 
1915 gives the principal business interests of Caledonia as two 
general stores, a coal yard, a harness shop and the express office. 
The postoffice has three rural rovites, which supply the surround- 
ing country with mail daily. 


The incorporated Village of Corliss is situated in the western 
part of ]\Iount Pleasant Township, seven miles west of Racine, 
at the crossing of two divisions of the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railroad. It was formerly known as "Western Union 
Junction." The village was surveyed by Samuel D. Austin on 
August 13, 1901, for the Brown Corliss Engine Company of Mil- 
waukee, of which Julius Wechselberg was president and W. S. 
Whiting was secretary. Three days later the plat was filed in 
the office of the register of deeds under the name of "Corliss." 
The company l)uilt a large factory for the manufacture of Corliss 
engines, but after a time reverses came and the works were closed. 

On July 20, 1907, a new survey of the village was made by 
T. H. Knight, c<iunty surveyor, and on September 14, 1907, a 
petition was filed in the circuit court asking for the incorporation 
of Corliss. An election was ordered for October 28, 1907, at which 
182 voters expressed themselves in favor of the incorporation and 
only three votes were cast in the negative. The coiu't then issued 


the order declaring Corliss to l)c ;ui incorporated village, accord- 
ing- to the laws of the state. 

Corliss has gas, electric light, a good system of waterworks, 
a liank, two hotels, two physicians, several general stores and 
small shops, a pnblic school and a nursery. Being located at the 
junction of two lines of one of the country's great railway sys- 
tems, the shipping facilities are unsurpassed by any village of 
its size. In 1910 the population was 525, and in 1915 the property 
was valued for taxes at $683,630. 


This is a flag station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad, twenty-one miles west of Racine and in the township 
of the same name. It was laid out by Captain John T. Trowbridge, 
the first settler in Dover Township, and was first known as 
"Brighton." Captain Trowbridge was the first postmastei*. 
Subsequently the name was changed to Dover, which is still the 
name used liy the i-ailroad company, but the postoffice has been 
changed to Rosewood. Some gi-ain and live stock are shipped 
from Dover, which is its greatest business activity. 


Located in the southwest quarter of Section 33, Township 4, 
Range 22, is the little Village of Franksville, a station on the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, seven miles from Ra- 
cine. It was surveyed by S. G. Knight in April, 1874, for Daniel 
B. Rork and H. B. Roberts, and the plat was filed with the register 
of deeds on the 25tli of May following. Franksville has a postoffice, 
express and telegraph offices, a telephone exchange, a hotel, a 
blacksmith and wagon repair shop, and maniifactures cement 
blocks, sauer kraut and drain tile. There are also two general 
stores and some smaller business establishments. The Wisconsin 
(Jazetteer for 1915 gives the population as 180. 


This place can hardly be called a village. It is a small station 
on the Chicago, INIilwaukee & St. Paul Railroad about three and 
a half miles west of Racine, established there for the accommoda- 
tion of ])ei'sons visiting the Racine County Insane Asylimi, which 
is located a short distance S(»uth of the station. 



Honey Creek is a village on the Wiscniisin Central Raik'oad 
oil the west line of Rochester Township. The greater part of 
the village is in Walworth County; the bank, postoffice and sev- 
eral of the leading business concerns being west of the line divid- 
ing the two comities. William Child made the survey of Honey 
Ci'eek on September 14, 1895, for Eeniamin and Esther S. Heme- 
haugh, Charles Babcock, Georgiana Prout and Frank Baldwin, 
and on Octol)er 5, 1895, a plat of that part of the town lying in 
K'acine Coimty was filed in the office of the register of deeds. 
While not a large place, it is a trading and shipping point of con- 
siderable importance for the people in the western part of Racine 
and the eastern part of Walworth County. 


About two miles northwest of the City of Racine, in Moimt 
Pleasant Township and on the line of the Chicago & Milwaukee 
Electric Railway, is the little hamlet of Horlicksville. It was 
never regularly surveyed and platted, but has grown up near the 
Rapids of the Root River, where one of the earliest settlements 
in Racine County was established. The place takes its name from 
the Horlick family, several members of which live in the vicinity. 
Tile well known Horlick malted milk is made here. There is a 
general store and a few minor concerns, but the principal busi- 
ness is the operating of the stone crushers in the quarries along 
the Root River. 


On the line between Sections 9 and 10, Township 4, Range 
22, in Caledonia Township, is the miofficial Village of Husher. 
It is one of those neighborhood trading posts and rallying centers 
that grow up in nearly every county of the Union and has no 
s|>ecial history. 


One of the early settlements of Racine County was made at 
Ives Crove in the sununer of 1835 by Joseph Call. The Grove is 
situated in the eastern part of Yorkville Township, in Section 12, 
Township 3, Range 21, on the road leading from Racine to Roch- 
ester. In the latter part of 1836 or early in 1837, Joseph Call 
sold his claim to Marshall M. Strong and Stephen N. Ives, who 
in turn sold it to Roland Ives and soon after that a postoffice 


was established there and given the name of "Ives Grove," by 
which the place has ever since been known. The postoffiee has 
been discontinued and the inhabitants now receive mail by rural 
carrier from Union Grove. 


Ives Station, or "Ives," as it is conmionly called, is on the 
line of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, three miles north 
of Racine, in Caledonia Township. On November 23, 1896, the 
village was surveyed and platted by Harry I. Orwig for W. K. 
Cook, George Bald\Vin, John O'Laughlin and Benjamin Barrett, 
and the plat was filed with the register of deeds on December 5, 
1896. At that time and for some years afterward a large stone 
crushing business was conducted here, but in recent years Ives 
has found a formidable competitor in that line in Horlicksville, 
with the result that it has lost some of its former activity. 


This little village is located in the southern part of Dover 
Township, on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, 
eighteen miles west of Racine. No plat of the village was ever 
filed with the register of deeds. Among the early settlers in this 
part of the county were Samuel Ormiston, James Ballack, Aaron 
Putnam and the McKeys. Kansasville grew up after the railroad 
was built and received its name when the postoffiee was estab- 
lished there a little later. It now has a general store, a hotel, a 
creamery, a blacksmith and wagon repair shop, a public school, 
telegraph and express offices, a Congregational Church, and some 
other institutions. The Wisconsin Gazetteer for 1915 gives the 
population as 300, but this is probably too high an estimate. From 
the postoffiee two rural routes supply daily mail to the surround- 
ing country. Considerable quantities of grain and live stock are 
shipped from this point. 


In Section 18, near the west line of Caledonia Township, is 
the little hamlet of Kilbournville, where a postoffiee under that 
name was established in early days. The office was discontinued 
some years ago and mail is now delivered by rural carrier from 
Caledonia, a mile and a half east, which is the nearest railroad 
station. A church, a public school and a general store, with a 
few scattering dwellings, are about all that is left of Kilbournville. 



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This is another postoffice that was discontinued when the 
rural free delivery system was inaugurated. It is situated in the 
west side of Section 10, in Raymond Township, a short distance 
west of the South Fork of the Root River. The principal busi- 
ness enterprises are a general store and a blacksmith shop. Mail 
now comes daily by rural carrier from the postoffice at Caledonia. 


In the northeast corner of Caledonia Township, near the 
county line and on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, is the 
rural postoffice of Lamberton, so named from one of the early 
settlers in that part of the county, William E. Lamberton, who 
was for many years one of the prominent citizens of Racine 
County. As a village, Lamberton is insignificant and about its 
only importance is the postoffice. 


On the Root River, in Section 23, Township 4, Range 22, is 
a thickly settled neighborhood u])on which has been conferred 
the name of "Linwood." It has never been platted as a village 
and a public school near the line between Sections 23 and 26 is 
the only institution worthy of mention. 


The rural Post-Village of North Cape is situated near the 
western boundary of Raymond Township, in Section 30, Township 
4, Range 2L Although about seven miles from Union Grove, the 
nearest railroad station. North Cape is a place of considerable 
business activity. It has a money order postoffice, telephone 
connection with the surrounding towns, a flour mill, a general 
store, a tile factory, a physician, a dealer in agiicultural imple- 
ments, a public school, Methodist and Lutheran Churches and a 
population of a])out 100. North Cape has furnished four members 
of the State Legislatiire — Knud Adland, Hiram L. Gilmore, 
Patrick G. Cheves and Adam Aj)ple. Mr. Apple afterward sei-ved 
also in the State Senate. 


The Town of North Racine was surveyed and platted by 
Edward F. Leidel on September 21, 1905, for the Great Northern 
Realty Company and the plat was filed the same day it was com- 


picted — Sept('inl)('r 21, 1905. It shows a town of some preten- 
sions, eonsistiui; of twenty-three blocks and a total of 839 lots, 
h)eated m Sections 15, 16, 21 and 22, in Caledonia Township, but 
as the basis of its establishment was speculation it has not come 
up to the expectations of its founders. 


In the settlement of Raymond Township a little village grew 
up in the exact center, which in time became known as "Raymond 
Center." A postoffice was established there in the late '80s or 
early '40s by the name of "Raymond" and the word "Center" 
was finally dro]:)ped. For some time it was a trading point for 
the people of the township, l)ut when the postoffice was discon- 
tinued most of the business interests sought new locations. A 
Congregational Church was established here at an early date 
and the old church and school house still mark the site of "Ray- 
jtiond Center" after the greater part of its glory has departed. 
Among the early settlers were Stephen O. Bennett, Joseph Nel- 
son and Thomas West, all of whom afterward represented Racine 
County in the State Legislature. 


The incorporated Village of Rochester, in the Township of 
the same name, is pleasantly situated on the Fox River, twenty- 
three miles west of Racine and four miles east of Honey Creek, 
which is the most convenient railroad station. Franklin Hathe- 
way, in his "Reminiscences," published in Volume XV of the 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, says his uncle, Joshua Hathe- 
way, who was one of the government surveyors in Racine and 
Kenosha Counties, was the first to select this place as a townsite. 
In his survey he became acquainted with a Potawatomi Indian 
who informed him that the word Waukesha was the Potawatomi 
for "Fox." When the surveying party reached the banks of the 
Fox River at the mouth of the Muskego Creek, Mr. Hatheway 
was so impressed with the site and the possibilities of water 
power that he decided to locate a town there at some future time. 
In this project he was joined by Mr. Cox and Mr. Myers, two 
others of the surveying party. Mr. Hatheway then took his 
hatchet and blazed an oak tree, and upon the white surface of 
the wood wrote the word "Waukeeshah," the name select(Ml for 
the future citv. He afterward claimed that this was the first 


time that word was ever written in English. That was early 
in 1836. 

Unknown to Hatheway, Cox and Myers, Levi Godfrey and 
John Wade had visited the same spot and selected claims in the 
fall of 1835. In 1836 ]\[r. Godfrey brought his family to the 
f'laim he had selected and began housekeeping in a shanty six- 
teen feet square and so low that he had to stoop in entering 
the doorway. A little later he built a larger log house and opened 
a tavern, which l)ecanie historic as the place where the conven- 
tion was held that nominated Captain Gilbert Knapp for the 
TjCgislature in the fall of 1836. Godfrey's original shanty was 
the first structure erected by a white man within the present 
village limits. 

In 1837 Mr. Godfrey enlarged his tavern, Alonzo Snow opened 
a general store, and Martin C. Whitman built a saw-mill. The 
settlement was then known as the "Upper Forks," to distin- 
guish it from the one at the mouth of the White River, which 
was called the "Lower Forks" (now Burlington). Early in the 
fall of 1839, A. W. Doolittle, the first county surveyor of Racine 
CoTuity, was emjjloyed by the owners of the land at the "Upper 
Forks" to survey and lay out a town. As most of the ])roprie- 
tors — Martin C. Whitman. Levi Godfrey, Obed and Hiland 
Hurlburt and Philo Belden — were from Western New York, 
they selected the name "Rochester" for their town, and the plat 
was filed with the register of deeds in October, 1839. Henry 
Mygatt, Elias Smith, David Anderson, Consider Heath and ]\[ar- 
garet A. Cox, who owned some of the adjoining lands, filed the 
plat of their addition on June 16, 1840. 

Mary, daughter of Levi Godfrey, was the first white child 
born in Rochester. The first marriage was that of John Cole 
and a Miss Fowler, which was solemnized in the fall of 1836. Mr. 
Cole walked to Racine for his license, which cost him four dollars. 
Mrs. John Wade, who died in February, 1837, was the first death. 
The first school house was built in 1840 and the first teacher was 
a daughter of Dr. E. G. Dyer, of Burlington. Peter Campbell 
huiit the first brick house, in which he conducted the "Union 
Hotel" until his death in 1856. 

A man named Foi'd started an iron foundry on a small scale 
near Martin Whitman's saw-mill. AVhen the mill was destroyed 
by fire in 1839 the foundry was slightly damaged. Philo Belden 


theu built a mill on the Muskego and in 1842 added a flour mill. 
Two years later lie bought out Mr. Ford and added the foimdry 
to his business. A little later Richard established a wagon fac- 
tory, which did a good business for several years, but finally 
ceased operations. 

On June 27, 1912, a petition, signed by Thomas Edwards, 
H. C. Wood, J. E. Jackson and others, was filed in the circuit 
court, praying for the incorporation of Rochester. A census 
previously taken showed a population of over one hundred and 
fifty, as required by law. Judge Belden granted the petition, 
provided a majority of the citizens were in favor of incorporating, 
and ordered an election to give the voters an opportunity to ex- 
press themselves. J. E. Jackson, George Ela and A. A. Burgess 
were appointed inspectors to conduct the election, which was 
held (m August 20, 1912. The proposition to incorporate was car- 
ried by a vote of 41 to 36, and under the order of June 27th 
Rochester was declared an incoi-porated village. 

The principal business interests of Rochester are the flour 
mill, two general stores, the hotel, a creamery, a blacksmith and 
wagon shop, and a florist. There is a good public school building 
and the usual number of small shops to be found in villages of 
this class. According to the Wisconsin Oazetteer for 1915, the 
])()pulation is estimated at 256, and the same year the property 
of the village was valued for taxation at $181,992. 


This is a small railway station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railroad in the southeastern part of Yorkville Township, 
ten miles west of Racine. It was formerly known as Windsor 
Station. A few dwellings in the immediate neighborhood and the 
little station building constitute the entire village. 


When the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was built be- 
tween Chicago and Milwaukee, a station was established in Cale- 
donia Township, about five miles north of Racine, and given the 
name of "Tabor." For some time it was a trading and shipping 
lioint of some importance, but was gradually outstripped by the 
adjacent and all that is left is the name on the map and recollec- 
tidus of its former prestige. 



On the line ht'tween Caledonia and Raymond Townships, 
abont ten miles northwest of Racine, is the old Village of Thomp- 
sonville, so named after one of the early settlers in that locality. 
Located at the junction of three highways, it is easy of access 
and in early days was the chief trading point for the farmers in 
that section of the c(nuity. Then came the railroads, which 
diverted business to other points and Thompsonville began to 
decline. The postoffice there was discontinued and mail is now 
l)rought daily by carrier from the postoffice at Franksville. A 
general store, a blacksmith shop and a creamery are now the 
principal business enterprises. 


About a mile and a half southwest of Wind Lake, in the 
western part of Norway Township and on the road leading to 
Waterford, old maps of Racine County show "Union Church." 
It was never platted and, strictly speaking, is not a town or 
village. The Norwegian immigrants who settled this township 
were mostly Lutherans, but as settlers of different religious views 
came in they all joined together in the erection of a building that 
should be free to every denomination. A settlement grew up 
about the church and a postoffice was estal)lished there mider the 
name of "LTnion Church." The postoffice has been discontinued 
for years, and as the several denominations grew stronger each 
built a house of worship of its own. A tew years more of progress 
and the old Union Church settlement will have been forgotten. 


The incorporated Village of LTiiiou (ii-ove is located in the 
southwestern part of Yorkville Township, on the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul Railway, fifteen miles west of Racine. The 
first settler here was a man named Dunliam, who built a frame 
house on what is now Main Street. The second house was built 
by William H. Reid. Mr. Dunham remained but a short time, 
when he Sf)ld out to P. P. Faber, who opened the first store aboiit 
the time the railroad was built. William H. Reid was also en- 
gaged in merchandising and was one of the early postmasters. 
The third house in the village was built by John Roche, who 
occupied part of it as a shoemaker's shop, being the first to ply 
that trade in Union Orove. Other earlv settlers were Dr. A. P. 


Adams, who was the tirst physician, James Russell, IS. II. Skewes, 
J. H. Ilitehcook, Erasmus D. Caldwell, Gideon Morey, Richard 
Goldsworthy and William C. Bartlett. 

On January 26, 1856, a mass meeting of the citizens was held 
and an associatiim formed for the ])urpose of laying out a town. 
Of this association Dr. A. P. Adams was president; James Rus- 
sell, vice-president; Gideon Morey, secretary, and S. H. Skewes, 
treasurer and sales agent. C. M. Sprague was employed to make 
a survey and plat and he completed his work on February 21, 
1856. On March 18, 1856, th(> Union Grove Company was incor- 
porated by act of the Legislature, with an authorized cai)ital 
stock of $50,000. A number of lots were sold by Mr. Skewes 
and Union Grove began "to ])ut on airs," as one of the residents 
expressed it at the time. 

For some reason the survey made by Mr. Sprague was not 
satisfactory and in the summer of 1859 Sayrs G. Knight -was 
employed to make a new plat, which was filed in the office of 
the register of deeds on August 27, 1859. Since then the growth 
of the village has been steady and in 1910 the population was 
616, an increase of 96 during the preceding decade. 

Union Grove has been incorporated for about twenty years. 
It has waterworks, electric light, a telephone exchange, telegraph 
and express offices, a bank, a flour mill, a weekly newspaper (the 
Ent('i-])i-ise), an oi)era house, a large jiickling works, a branch 
of the Wisconsin-Pemisylvania Oil Company, a number of well 
stocked mercantile establishments, a brick factory, a creamery, 
a hotel, and a number of neat residences. The Old Settlers' Park 
is located about half a mile south of the village, where reunions 
are held annually. In 1915 the pro])erty was valued for taxation 
at $()21,762. A great deal of grain and live stock are shipped. 


The Village of Watei'ford is situated in the southeast corner 
of the township of the same name, on the Fox River and twenty- 
three miles west of Racine. The tirst settlers w^ere Samuel S. 
Chapman and Levi Barnes, who <-anie in the year 1836 and made 
claims about where the village now stands. Mr. Cha})man w^as 
from Indiana and after locating his claim so it would cover the 
water power in the Fox River went back to that state for his 
family. He became a permanent resident in 1838. Not far be- 


hind riia])iiiaii and IJai'iics came a man named Bccbc, who hiid 
claim t(i the water pdwer, tuiilt a shanty near the river and tried 
to hold it, but Chapman and Barnes bought him off and erected 
a saw-mill. The next year they built a grist mill with two run 
of t)uhrs, one for wheat and the other for corn. This mill was 
sold in 1848 to Andrew B. Jones, who ran it for about six years, 
when he removed to Janesville. The first house within the pres- 
net village limits was erected by Ephraim Barnes. Quite a mnn- 
ber of innnigrants came to this part of the county during the 
years 1838 and 18:)!), and in the latter year S. C. Kress opened 
the first tavern. Six years later he erected the "Waterford 
House," a nnich lai'ger building, which was one of the first brick 
structures in the village. 

The first white child ])oi'n in Waterford was Helen, daugh- 
ter of Samuel E. Chapman. She was born in 1838, soon after the 
arrival of the family from Indiana. The first death was that of 
an infant son of Hiram Barnes, in the winter of 1837-38. The 
first inhabitant to get married was Ira A. Rice, who went to 
Kenosha (then Southport) for his bride in 1837. A. B. Jones 
was the first merchant, and the first school was taught in 1840 
by a ]Miss Caldwell. The postoffice was established in 1843, with 
Samuel C. Russ as the first postmaster. Mail was then carried by 
stage from Kenosha to Janesville and the office at Waterford 
I'cceived mail from the east and west on alternate days. There 
is now a daily mail stage from Burlington. 

In April, 1845, Moses Vilas was employed to lay out the 
town and made a plat. His employer was Samuel C. Russ, who 
then owned most of the land included within the village lirnits. 
Mr. Vilas had made a survey in March, 1839, but the plat was 
not filed with tlu^ register of deeds. The revised plat was filed 
on Jime 3, 1845. 

In 1864 George Gale came to Waterford and built a paper 
mill, which he operated for three years, when he was compelled 
to close for lack of power. John Beck started a brewery in 1876. 
with a capacity of 200 barrels per day, and did a profitable busi- 
ness for several years, but lack of adequate transportation facili- 
ties placed him at a disadvantage and the business was discon- 

On Deceml)er 23, 1905, a petition asking for the iucoi'poration 
of Waterford was filed in the circuit court. A census that accom- 


pauied the petition showed a population of 352. The court ordered 
an election for January 23, 190G, and appointed as inspectors 
John T. Rice, Christian Berger and William Sheukenberg. The 
election resulted in 118 votes for incorporation and only 25 against 
the proposition, lleturus were made to the court and Waterford 
was declared to be an incorporated village. 

Waterford has two banks, a flour mill, two cigar factories, 
several well stocked general stores, hardware and hnplement 
houses, kmiber and coal dealers, a telej^hone exchange, a weekly 
newspaper (the Post), two hotels, a creamery, churches of dif- 
ferent denominations, excellent public school l)uildings, and its 
"high and dry" location makes it an ideal residence village 
The population in 1910 was 581, and in 1915 the assessed valua- 
tion of the property was $717,910. 


Modern maps of Racine County show a settlement in Cale- 
donia Township, a short distance southeast of Tabor, as "Willow 
Creek." It is merely a thickly settled neighborhood, with a 
public school in the midst, and was never platted as a village. 


The old postoffice of Yorkville was established at an early 
date a little north of the center of Yorkville Township. It was 
on the old mail route between Racine and Mineral Point and a 
little hamlet grew up there, but no plat of a village was ever 
officially made or recognized by the authorities. The postoffice 
was discontinued some years ago and the people of that section 
now receive their mail by rural carrier from the postoffice at 
Union Grove, which place is the nearest railroad station. York- 
ville, as shown by the Wisconsin Gazetteer for 1916, has a general 
store, a dealer in hardware and agricultural implements, a 
nursery, a creamery, a blacksmith shop and a few dw' elling houses. 


As a conclusion to this chapter the following list of postoffices 
in Racine County at the beginning of the year 191G is given. The 
figures in parentheses after the names of some of the offices show 
the number of rural mail routes emanating therefrom, to wit: 
Burlington (G), Caledonia (3), Corliss (1), Franksville (3), Kan- 
sasville (2), Lamberton, North Cape, Racine (4), Rochester, 


Rosewood (formerly Dover), Uniuu Urove (3), Waterford (2). 
The office at Racine has independent stations at Cooper and 
Racine Junction and three sub-stations. All the offices issue 
domestic money orders, good in the United States, and the offices 
at Burlington, Corliss, Racine, Union CJrove and Waterford are 
authorized to issue international money oi'ders, good in foreign 

St. John's Lutheran 



Hi^h School 






Racine was but a mere liamk't, with a few inhabitants and 
a house scattered here and th(n'e when the settlers began to pro- 
vide for the education of their chiklren, in the best way possible 
and according to their limited resources and means. As in all 
new localities the subscription school took the initiative in edu- 
caticmal matters, and it is to a little select, or subscription, school, 
jiresided over by a pedagogue named Bradley, that the people of 
Racine I'cvert when the beginning of things educational is on the 
tapis. The first Iniilding erected for school purposes was a primi- 
tive structure of frame, l)uilt on the northeast corner of Main 
and Third Streets in 1836. Here the children of the little settle- 
ment gathered and were taught the rudiments of an education 
])y Mr. Bradley, the first schoolmaster of Racine. 

On the 12th of June, 1837, the county commissioners divided 
the county into scdiool districts, and placed the Town and Village 
of Racine in District No. One; as a matter of course, the first 
school building was in this district. Under the territorial session 
laws of 1839-1840, which were revised in the session of 1840-01, 
Racine held her first annual town meeting on the fifth day of 
April, 1842, when Marshall M. Strong, Eldad Smith and Lyman 
K. Smith were elected the first school conunissioners for the town. 
Their duties were to take charge of the school district, to collect 
the revenue therefrom and to a])])ortion the same to the several 
school sections in the town. Section 16 was located in the village 
• and proved of great value to the community. Other duties de- 
volving upon the commissioners were to divide the town into 
school districts, to examine and license public school teachers, 


and to supervise the schools generally. Each district was pro- 
vided with three trustees, a clerk and collector, who were 
authorized to levy and collect all necessary school taxes, and to 
jnanage the affairs of their districts, the village and town authori- 
ties having no jurisdiction in snch matters. The Town of Racine 
was divided into four districts, one of which comprised the village, 
and one on the north, on the south and on the west of it. 


Lots situate on Section 16, in which is the Second Ward, were 
selected for the location of the first i)u])li(' school building, and 
on this site, near the corner of College Avenue and Seventh Street, 
a one-story brick sti'ucture was erected during the snmmer of 
1842. This was the beginning of the many public buildings in 
1-iacine, put up and maintained for school purposes by the people 
of the town and, while very modest in design and dimensions, 
it answered the requirements admirabl_y for a time at least. Sam- 
uel W. Hill was the first one to preside over the pnpils of this 
schdol, and liegan his ministrations in the year the house was 
built. His successor was Simeon C. Yout, who for many years 
remained a citizen of the place. In a very short time the children 
began to increase in such numbers that the little one-story brick 
])uilding became overtaxed and in 1844 a frame one was erected 
on the east end of the lot, to which the girls and small boys were 
assigned. Miss Margaret Carswcll (later Mrs. Samuel G. Knight) 
was placed in charge. 

During the village organization and the first three years of 
the city rule (1842 to 1852) the pul)lic schools were managed under 
"the general laws of the territory and state by trustees and other 
district officers, as neither the village nor the first city charter 
made any provision for maintaining them. The last to^^^l meeting 
was held Ajn'il 4, 1848, preparatory to AVisconsin becoming a state 
and Racine taking on the dignity permitted a city. No town offi- 
cers were elected at this meeting and, as a consequence, the old 
officials held over. On A])ril .3, 1849, at an election held at Slau- 
son's cooper shop, Floyd P. Baker was (4ected town superintend- 
ent of schools, and Isaac J. UUman, Thomas J. Emerson and 
'f'hdiiias (!. Burgess continued as town school commissioners. 

Owing to the considerable growth of Racine between the 
years 1H41 and 1852, a demand for more schools became impera- 


tive and as a result the village was divided into three districts, 
on the north, south and west sides of the river, in which schools 
were established. The school on the west side. Marquette Street, 
between Liberty and State Streets, enrolled over 140 pupils in 
1849. By that time the building was too small and many of the 
children were compelled for comfort's sake to resort to the shade 
trees then prevalent in that locality, where they studied their les- 
sons. Tn this year A. Constantine Barry became by election the 
first superintendent of schools in Racine. H. G. Winslow, long a 
superintendent, spoke of Mr. Barry as a "man of good attainments, 
of versatile talents and of various callings — a preacher of some 
reputation in the Universalist Church, the editor and publisher 
of the 'Old Oaken Bucket' (the organ of the Sons of Temperance), 
and an educator of considerable pretensions." He became state 
superintendent of schools in 1855 and held the position until 1858. 
In 1861 he became chaplain of the Second Regiment, Wisconsin 
Volunteers, and served as such until the end of hostilities. 

A complete reorganization of school affairs took place in 
Racine in 1852, owing to general dissatisfaction that had appeared 
above the surface. On April 14, 1852, a school law affecting Racine 
alone was enacted by the Legislature and modeled after the school 
system then in vogue in Rochester, N. Y. By this law all public 
schools of the city were consolidated into one district, and ample 
powers were placed in the hands of a board of education, con- 
sisting of two commissioners from each ward, and a city superin- 
tendent. The first board of education under the new law was 
organized in April, 1852, and was composed of Robert Cather, 
president; A. C. Barry, clerk; Orville W. Barnes, Robert Cather, 
Edwin Gould, "Warner W. Wardsworth, Charles Herriek, Nathan 
Joy, John Osborne, Seneca Raymond, Kdwin A. Robey, Sidney 
A. Sage, commissioners; A. C. Barry, city superintendent. Also, 
in this year, the City Coimcil passed an ordinance authorizing the 
issuance of bonds in the smn of $6,000 for the erection of a high 
school building. The site was already in the possession of the city 
and upon it was erected a lu-ick building, 50x75 feet, two stories 
in height, with a basement. This was located in the Second Ward 
and was an excellent structure for the times, ranking with the 
best in the state. John (i. ^[c]\I.vnn, then a successful teacher in 
the Kenosha public schools, was called to the principalshiji, and 
his wife, Mrs. Ella Wiley McMynn, accepted the position of assist- 


aiit, which she retained with entire satisfaction to all concerned 
five years. Kev. M. P. Kinney was elected city superintendent 
in April, 1853, and for four years thereafter served the school 
interests of the city with fidelity and a high degree of ability. 
He planted the elm trees that still adorn the walks around the 
high school, and "contributed not a little to the success of the 
system and the Racine High School soon became the pet and pride 
of the city." This is evidenced by the following excerpt of the 
suijerintendent's repoit foi' the yeai' 1858: "It is now nearly 
five years since the present plan of organization went into opera- 
tion. Previous to this period, interest in education was confined 
to a few of our citizens. Under the district system, which was at 
first adopted, it was seen that no efficiency could be secured, and 
little progress could be made. School accommodations were ]ioor 
and limited. Teachers were embarrassed and their well laid ])lans 
often thwarted by apathy or opposition. Schools, public and 
])rivate, were numerous but not permanent; teachers were quali- 
fied and self-denying, l)ut not successful; and, while money was 
liberally provided, it was uselessly expended, so that many began 
to look with disfavctr up(m public schools, and if not unwilling 
to try the experiment of a thorough organization, they were not 
willing to co-operate and earnestly labor to carry it to a success- 
ful issue." In another place the superintendent, Rev. O. O. 
Stearns, continues: "During the past year a new school library, 
consisting of over a thousand volumes, has been purchased and 
placed within the reach of the scholars and parents. * * * At 
the close of the last term (December, 1857) a class of two young 
gentlemen and eight yoimg ladies graduated from oui' high school 
and received aj^jropriate dii)lomas. That was an event of too 
much importance to l)e overlooked in oui' annual report. The 
day of their graduation was a proud one for our city schools, 
and could all of our citizens have been present on that occasion, 
they would have felt amply repaid for the sacrifices they have 
been called upon to make to sustain them." 

The "event of too nnich im])ortance" will be more readily 
understood and apju'eciatcd by the present generation when it is 
stated that this was the first high school graduating class in the 
history of Wisconsin. The incuihers of that class were Horatio 
(i. P>iilings, William H. Myrick, Christia A. Sinclair, Julia CJ. 
Wheldon, Anna Byrne, Lucy A. Cather, Antoinette J. Russell, 


RI\F,K \II-;\V. I<\< INK 

HIST()K\" ()!• RACIXK COrNTV 181 

Elizalx-tli J. I^utterfield, Angelina Wells and Marion F. Clarke. 
With the exception of a few years within the decade begimiing 
ill 1859, the high school has furnished a class of graduates each 
year of its existence. "When the year of the rebellion broke out 
ill ISiil, and during its continuance, the high school responded 
nolily to the country's call, riiniishing from thirty to forty S(»l- 
diers, and many of the older pupils from the ward schools in- 
creased the number largely. Six members of the high school lost 
their lives in the cause and a marble tablet preserves the names 
and memory in golden letters (m the walls of the high school study 
room. Principal McMynn also volunteered and went as major 
of the Tenth Regiment of "Wisconsin Volunteers; and, after doing 
soldierly service in the war in Kentuck,v, Tennessee and Alabama, 
returned as colonel of his regiment." 

Selim H. Peabody was one of the early principals of the Ra- 
cine High School and after retiring from that position he made 
his valuable educational talents a leading and commanding factor 
in the ra])id progress of the Chicago High School. He rose to 
various high positions in educational circles, among which may 
be mentioned the presidency of the Illinois State University. 
Special mention also should be made of (ieorge S. Albee, O. S. 
AVescott, and Colonels E. Barton Wood and Henry S. Pomeroy, 
both of whom attained distinction as commanders in the Civil War. 

There were about 700 pupils in attendance and thirteen 
teachers employed in the schools of Racine in 1853. The schools 
consisted of five primaries, one high school, and a grannnar school, 
which was then and for several years after combined with the 
high school. Crowded rooms and lack of conveniences had been 
dinned into the official ears of the authorities for some time, but 
it was not until the year 1855 that the City Council ])rovided 
means for the erection of three school buildings, and during the 
fall and winter they were built, the Third, Fourth and Fifth 
A^'ards each getting one. The structures were constructed of 
brick, two stories high and 40x50 feet in ground dimensions. In 
each of these biiildings were organized an intermediate school 
with four teachers and about 200 ]nipils. From this time until 
1887 the general plan for providing increased room was by mak- 
ing additions to the old buildings, except in the erection of the 
Sixth Ward school house, a building designed to seat about 400 
cliildrcii. Plans were perfected in 1887 by Superintendent H. (>. 


Winslow and the school l)oai'd for the croetion of a ward school 
building on advanced lines and in March, 1891, the idea met its 
fruition in the construction of the building in the southwestern 
part of the city, which was named the R. P. Howell School. This 
was the first reall.v pretentious school building of Racine. Pre- 
vious to this hapi^y consummation, owing to the increasing num- 
ber of children demanding attention and for many of whom there 
were no adequate provisions and accommodations at the school 
houses on the north and west sides of the river, the committee 
mentioned above caused to be erected on the corner of North- 
western Avenue and Prospect Street a school building in 1889. 
The Lincoln School was built and occupied in April, 3891. It 
had a capacity of 400 and was built with a desire to observe more 
than the ordinary efforts toward beauty and artistic architect- 
lu-al lines. 

H. G. Winslow assumed the duties imposed by the office of 
superintendent of the Racine city schools in May, 1881, when 
there were 40 teachers employed and the enrollment for the year 
was 2,388. In 1883 a full pamphlet report and manual of in- 
structions for teachers was issued, the first of the kind since 1858. 
The booklet contained about 100 pages of useful educational and 
statistical matter and this was followed in 1891 by a more com- 
plete one. 

In June, 1881, A. R. Sprague, a graduate of Beloit College, 
and a teacher of wide experience in Wisconsin, was appointed 
principal of the high school and held the position eight years. 
He resigned to accept a place in the Milwaukee High School. 
His successor was A. J. Volland, who began his work here the 
school year of 1889. 


A pioneer, who signs himself "One of the Old Boys," recalls 
the early school days in an article which appeared recently in a 
local paper, and in part relates: "The school facilities were 
hardly adequate to the needs of the place. There were private 
schools here and there, and different attempts had been made 
to start academies, but with only temporary success. T remem- 
hov Mr. Slater kept a select school in the old Sol Heath house, 
corner Seventh and Chatham Streets (it had not then arrived 
at the dignity of Lake Avenue, and indeed the street was of so 

Erected in southern part of town in 1S56. 


little account at that time that v(M-y few knew it had a name, 
hut were content to designate it as the 'l)ack street.'). Mr. S. C. 
Yout had an academy in a huilding- standinj^,' on the site of the 
late Universalist Church. Then David Conger started what he 
cahed a 'high school' on the corner of Eighth and Wisconsin 
Streets. I can recall among the boys there were Sayers Knight, 
Ham Utley, James Fink and Garrett Van Pelt. 

"Miss Emma Jane Winters had a school on Wisconsin 
Street; Miss Robinson taught on Barnstable Street; Mahlon and 
Melville Barry were among the pupils. 

"Old Mr. Jones had a small school (m Wisconsin near Elev- 
enth Street. I can remember it was one of the rules of the school 
that a scholar was to be forgiven once for any offense, but not 
the second time. It was always a successful plea that the culprit 
made, to say, no matter how grievous his fault, 'You never for- 
gave me for this,' and justice yielded to mercy. The dear old 
man! He nnist have been nearly seventy years old, and yet he 
had that trust in human nature that hoped, the first offense, 
(ince forgiven, would never be repeated. Perhaps the old man's 
theory would be the right one. 

"Mr. Stowe taught in the basement of the old Baptist 
Church. Henry and Anson Doolittle, Henry Jones, Orley Cates, 
'Egg' Jameison, Ham Utley and Walter Stone were pupils of his. 

"W. W. Carroll taught in the little brick school house on the 
southwest corner of the present Second Ward School grounds. 
Walter Clough is the only boy whose face I can no\v recall be- 
hind his desk." 


When the old Third Ward School was built it was located 
at the extreme southern limits of the city and there were few 
houses in the immediate vicinity. The ground on which the build- 
ing was situate was part of the first cemetery, and in June, 1855, 
the City Council ordered the disposal of the poor house and of 
some of the cemetery lots, to provide funds to build three new 
schools — in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards. 

On the purchase of Mound Cemetery in 1852, the City Coun- 
cil ordered the removal of all bodies buried in the old cemetery 
to the new grounds, stipulating that after April 15, 1853, all that 
i-emained would be removed by the cemetery committee. Despite 


the cave taken. Imiiiaii skeletons liavc hern exposed to the light 
wlieiiever excavations have lieen made in that block. 


The suceessor of the old Third Wai'd buildini; is the Wins- 
low, named in honor of one of the tx-st friends of edneation 
liacine ever had. The structure stands on the site of the (dd one, 
in the nndst of one of the finest residence districts of the city. 
If asked, any one of the nearby I'esidents would declare it to be 
the finest. In 1891), when the lliird Ward School was rebuilt, 
it was given its present name. The building i-ontains fourteen 
rooms, including a kindergarten and auditorium. There are 
twelve teachers and about 4r)() ])U]iiIs enrolled. 


The Innlding erected in Racine in 1853 and occu])ied in 1854 
for high school purposes w'as considered to be the finest and most 
])]'etentious school building in the State of Wisconsin. Many 
educators from distant cities paid special visits to Racine to see 
the structure and the jx'ojde of the conununity were elated and 
quite "chesty," to use a modern expression, over having so noted 
a public building. Tol. J. (!. McMynn, who was the first 
principal of the school, superintendent of the city schools and 
later state superintendent of schools, and whose influence on the 
puMic educational institutions <if the state was greater than any 
other man, in speaking of the high school on one occasion, in part 
said: 'Toming to the state only a few months after its admis- 
sion into the Union, T worked in the pul)lic schools of Kenosha 
(then Sonthport) until Se})tend)er, 1853, when I came to Racine, 
influenced not a little by the superior school house, then near 
completion, and which still remains now (1891) an object of less 
adnni'ation than it excited thirty-eight years ago. Some of those 
present may recollect that we partly organized the high school 
in the })asement of the old Baptist Chui-ch, where we remained 
until iho high school building was finished during the last month 
of the year. The erection of such a scIk^oI building had attracted 
the attention of the whole state. It was even sui)erior to the new 
school house in Kenosha, which l:)efore oui's was built had no 
rival in the commonwealth. 

"On examination for admission to the high school, Mr. 



Mahlon Bai-ry, ^liss Anna Byrne, Miss Lucy father, JVfiss 
Marion Clarke, and Miss Mary Sherman were found qualified, 
and they were the first re.iiular hi<>h schocd scholars in the state. 
A considerable iiiunhcr was added in a short time frdin tliose 
wild were conditioned." 


The Sixth Ward School was tinished in .January, 1870, and 
the plans upon which it was built marked a forward step in 
school construction, as it was the finest school biulding- in the 
l)lace. Tncludinii' the site, the total cost was $21,132. L. W. 
Urii^gs, who is an instructor in th(^ State Normal School at Osh- 
kosh, was the tirst principal. At the expiration of a year or two 
he was followed as principal by Prof. Bridges, who in tui'ii had 
for his successor Martin L. Smith, who assumed his duties in 
1875 and still is holding the position with the greatest satisfac- 
tion to all concerned. Prof. Smith contributes very much to the 
interest of this article by his relation of the details here appended: 

"In 1875 the Sixth Ward School consisted of an upright 
building of six rooms — three on the first floor and three directly 
over them on the second, one of them a large assem1)ly I'oom 
(•a])able of seating seventy pupils. At that time there was no 
kindergarten room and none of them was decorated; all were in 
the natural color of plaster, with here and there a crack in the 
wall, and a very few cheap pictures. 

"The force consisted of six teachers, including the principal. 
All of the rooms were over-crowded with children. The enroll- 
ment was 350. But in 1899 came a change for the better; an 
addition was built to the school, doubling the seating capacity, 
and transforming it into a modern building which, in the opinion 
of the present ])rincipal, has no superior in the state. The name 
now was changed to that of the Franklin School. There are 
twelve rooms, including (me for the kindergarten department, 
decorated and further adorned with pictures. Foiu- sanitary 
drinking fomitains without cups are used in the building, which 
also contains a recitation or store room, a principal's office, a 
teachers' rest room and a room for the niamial training classes. 
TTnder the entire building is a basement with cement floor, which 
contains separate toilet rooms. At present a corps of fourteen 


teachers is enijjloyed, including the principal and two kinder- 
gartners. The enrollment is about 575." 


]\Irs. Emma L. Hopkins Cartlidge, daughter of the founder 
of Racine Female Seminary, now living at Redlands, California, 
on request of E. W. Leach, the versatile local historian, prepared 
a short sketch of the Racine Female Seminary for this work, 
which is given below, "with the addition of names of pupils of 
the school gathered from other sources: 

In the autumn of 1845, several prominent citizens of Racine, 
among whom were members of the First Presbyterian Church, 
of which Rev. T. IVl. Hopkins was then pastor, learning that Mrs. 
Hopkins had lieen a teacher, urged her to open a school for girls. 

After thorough consideration of many plans, a school was 
o])ened some time in the spring of 1846, in a building on the 
corner of Main Street and — I do not know the mnnber of the 
cross street — but the building -was diagonally opposite the resi- 
dence of Hon. M. M. Strong, which residence was burned during 
the ^^dnter of 1845-46. 

The earliest record which I have is "for three months end- 
ing August 28, 1846," and includes "rent paid for school house 
three months, for desks, for assistant" and "for three months' 
advertisement." If y(»u are able to consult the files of the weekly 
paper published at that time, you may find the advertisement. 
Some friends advised incorporating the seminary, but ray 
mother preferred to keep it inider her personal control and the 
name "Racine Female Seminary" was given and the Register 
of Names was begun Seijtember 21, 1846. The first assistant 
teacher was Miss Humphrey, a graduate of Mount Holyoke 
Seminary. Two more were engaged for a few hours each week 
during this term. Just how long the sessions of the school were 
held in their early (puirters I do not know. No mention is made 
of any rent paid after December, 1846, but I think it was one or 
two years later that my father purchased a lot on the northwest 
corner of Eighth and Wisconsin Streets and built a two-story 
frame dwelling with large, airy rooms. In this building the ses- 
si(ms of the school were held until my mother left Racine in 
May, 1852. 

Associated with her dm-ing this time were Miss Rich, of 

Completed in January. LsTO. Remodeled in ISiUi. 


Bangor, Maine ; ]\liss M. Evelyn Smith, of Williamstown, IMassa- 
chusetts, and ]\Irs. Hunt, of Eacine, who was the first teacher 
of French in the school. The course of study included arithme- 
tic, mental and practical; algebra, geometry, history — ancient 
and modern — botany, physiology, astronomy with "Geography 
of the Heavens," a thorough course of reading, writing, spelling, 
composition and English grammar. French was added after the 
fii'st (piarter. There were charts for use in physiology, globes for 
geograjihy, and an "Orrery" for aid in understanding the 
position and orbits of the planets. Regular classes in calisthen- 
ics, always practiced with singing, were conducted daily, and 
every member of the school was expected to belong to one of 
tliese classes. 

On the register for 1847 and 1848 are also given the names 
of several boys who attended the school for a few months. Be- 
ginning "because their sisters came there" and parents wished 
thcni "to go together," the experiment was not thought suffi- 
ciently successful to admit of its being made a permanent feature. 
My remembi-ance is that the yomig lads grew restless under the 
guardianship of a "female seminary." The discipline of the 
school was good, no ferrule was ever used, no chastisement al- 
lowed by any teacher, and detention after school was the worst 
]iunishment inflicted. 

The hours of study were eight, beginning with reading a 
few verses from the Bible, a short prayer, and often one of the 
school songs. A recess of fifteen minutes came at 10:30, a noon 
recess from 12 to 1, then recess at 2:30, and books laid aside and 
school closed at four o'clock. With the astronomy class my 
mother made many evening excursions, "star gazing"; with the 
botany class, walks in the woods for the wild flowers which might 
he pressed in an "herbarium." For the little girls my father 
had laid out many small flower beds, which we were allowed to 
call our own, to plant what we chose, and of the lady's slippers, 
larkspurs, four o'clocks and escholtzias which we planted, some 
grew and some faded. 

An advertisement in the local papers of date March 22, 1849, 
announces the increasing prosperity of the Racine Female Sem- 
inary imder the leadership of its principal, Mrs. Hopkins, and 
states the terms of the institution to be as follows: "From $3 


to $5 per (luartcr; Latin, French and drawing, extra. Music on 
the piano or seraphine, $8 per quarter; use of instrument, $2. 
Vocal music and calisthenics daily." Calisthenics was an exer- 
cise facetiously dcsiL^natcd l»y the youni;- ladies of the school as 
' ' Presbyteria 1 1 dancing. ' ' 

Among the i)Ui)ils were: Frances Bull and Mary Slausson, 
•'who used to walk to school, except in bad weather, when they 
wt're brought there by their fathers on horseback. Their farms 
joined each other and a l>oard fence with a Ixiard (Hi tdp ran 
along the road. The roads were in l>ad condition a good deal of 
the time, and Miss Bull used to walk along this board on top 
of the fence l)etween her house and the Slausson residence. The 
girls woi-e heavy boots on their way to town and at the house of 
a friend changed to light shoes for the school room." There 
were also Abby Whitney, Isabel, Augusta and Helen E. Dorches- 
ter, sisters of J. C. Dorchester; the last named ])Ui)il married a 
Mr. Hessler, an artist of note. Sophia Smith, Julia Wheldon, 
r^ucy rathei', Elizabeth Wickham, sister of William Teagarden, 
whose father was a grocer; Mary Teft; Kate Teft, married Wil- 
liam Rushton; Amelia Sexton, Harriet Sexton, Alice Porter 
CMi-s. B. B. Northrop). Harriet Peck (Mi's. James Walker\ 
Hannah Rubely (Mrs. George Vaiitine), :Mary Reilly, Helen 
TTauley, J\lary Slanson (Mrs. r.eorge Murray), and Frances Gib- 
son, who also attended a singing school conducted by Mrs. James 
T. Manchestei-; Mary Hice, Frances A. Bull (Mrs. John P. D. 
Gibson), Mary Loi.mis (^Irs. Ghauncey Hall), Cassandra Thnmi)- 
son (Mrs. Monroe), Marioii Clarke (]\lrs. J. G. McMynn), Jane 
Knight (Mrs. Simeon Whiteley), ^Maggie McNaughton, Judith 
Sinclair, Zerlina Wing and Daniel Wing, Frances Kidder, Mary 
Kidder (Mi-s. Harry Dean), IVIary Cary, Anna Cary, Lydia and 
Kate Hurlbut, both nf whom met a sad death by drowning; David 
H. Ilnrlbut, Mary Aim llemy, Susan T. Bryan, Sarah :McNaugli- 
ton, Ellen Catharine McNaughton, Eliza Wells, Phoebe Hurd 
(Mrs. Sniveley), Emeline and Mary Janes, Emily Hines, the 
Misses Goodsell, Finances Hopkins, daughter of Mrs. Hopkins; 
Emma H()i)kins. anothei' daughter of the principal of the school; 
Calvin Sinclair, Lcnmel Hall, Augusta Howes, rated as "the 
bi'iglitest girl in school"; Delia Hanley, now a widow living in 



Rafiiio Sciiiiii.iiy was successor td K'.K-iiic Fcuialc Seminary, 
and ])egaii operations A})i'il 12, 18r)2. in tlic Imildiiiu kiidwii as 
"tlic ITo]>kins Scliool Bnildinii." Tlic Scuiiiiai-v was in cliai-uc of 
1). X. Conger, ^jrincipal: Roland Hakci-. associate principal: Miss 
K. Searle, instructress of the female dcpai'tment. The tei-ms 
were: :^?> {'nv The tii'st (|iia I'tcr: then $4. $5 and $7, for each snc- 
i-eediim- quarter. 


The educational institution IvUown as Racine College, located 
in Racine, Wisconsin, was founded in the year 1852 and received 
a charter from the Wisconsin State Legislature in the same year. 

The question of an K]iiscn])al College in the Diocese of Wis- 
consin first arose in the convention of the church asseml^led in 
.Milwaukee in 1851, with the noted Bishop Kemper in charge, it 
was then decided that immediate steps should be taken for the 
establishment of such an institution, and that it should be given 
to the first (die of the lake cities which should secure a site of 
six acres of land and pledges of not less than six thousand dollars 
for a building to be erected thereon. Gen. Philo White, in a 
letter which is I'ecorded in the niitintes of the trustees, claims for 
himself and Reverend ('die, president of the Nashotah House, 
the sponsorshi]) of the idea. The business was put into the hands 
of a committee of men consisting of the above named two and 
Jacob Morrison. 

The church in Racine was not at this time in a very Mnur- 
ishing condition, but. aided by considerable public spirit, it 
entered into the contest for the location of the college with vim, 
and directed its efforts particularly against its strongest rival — 
Milwaukee. Two prominent citizens of Racine, namely: Dr. 
Elias Smith, a trustee for many years, and Marshall .M. Strong, 
also a later trustee, took hold of the matter and in a very short 
time had executed the requirements of the convention, in that 
they secured a site of ten acres and subscriptions to the amount 
of $10,000.00 for a building. In this way Racine won in the fight 
for the location of the college. The site was donated by Charles 
S. Wi-ight and his brother, Truman (i. Wright, and was located 
about a mile and a half south of the central pai't of the citv. 
This site having been secured and the sul)scription in hand for 
the ])roposed building, application was innnediately made to the 


State Legislature for a charter, which was granted by that l)ody 
in session on March 3, 1852, and entitled, "An Act to Incorporate 
the Trustees of Racine College." The names of the incorporators 
given in the chai'tcr are as follows: Uoswoll Pai-k, Klias Smith, 
Isaac Taylor, Philo White, Isaac J. Ullman, .Matthew B. Mead, 
Nelson Pendleton, Marshall M. Strong, Joseph H. Nichols, Jack- 
son Kemper, Benjamin Akerly, Thomas J. Ruger, William 
Adams, Eleazor A. Cireenleaf, J. Bodwell Uoe and Azel D. Cole, 
and it was provided that they should choose their own associates 
and successors. 

The first meeting of the board was held on March 10, 1852, 
and was ])resided over by Rev. Joseph H. Nichols, the rector of 
St. Luke's Church at Racine at that time. At this meeting it 
was ordered "that the corner-stone of the fii'st building be laid 
on the 5th of May following." This was done with adequate 
ceremony and an address by Reverend Nichols. At a subsequent 
meeting the building in progress of construction was named Park 
Hall, in honor of Rev. Roswell Park, then contemplated as the 
first president of the institution. At a meeting of the board of 
trustees, held about the first of November of the same year, Dr. 
Park was unanimously elected to the oifice of president and he 
immediately entered ux)oti his duties. On the 15th day of the 
same month he opened the school with nine scholars in a hired 
room inider the name of Racine College. 

At a special meeting held on the 18th of July, 1853, the fol- 
lowing were added to the faculty: Rev. Joseph N. Nichols, A. M., 
jn-ofessor of English Literature; Marshall M. Strong, Lecturer on 
Political Science, and P. R. Hoy, M. D., Lecturer on Physiology 
and on the Natural Sciences; also three young men as assistant 
teachers. On the 28th of the same month the first collegiate year 
•dosed with thirty-three students, and the first commencement 
was held. Benjamin A. Segur, B. S., and Elijah Y. Smith were 
the first graduates of tlu^ school. 

At first Racine College comprised a full collegiate depart- 
ment and a preparatory department for boys. 

On the 14th of September, 1853, Park Hall was finished and 
ready for occupancy and within its walls the second year of school 
began. In his catalogue, the first one, Doctor Park describes 
the btiildiiig as follows: "The edifice is built of ]»ale brick, in 
(lothic style, and is 120 feet long and 34 feet wide. The central 

For forty years principal of Sixth Ward School. 


j)art, which projects to the front, contains four hirge reception 
rooms, besides a chapel, with open roof, occiipyino- the whole of 
the upper story, and a kitchen and dining room in the basement. 
There are ten rooms in each wing designed for sttidents' dormi- 
tories." The interior of this building was subsequently re- 
uiodclcd to a great extent. To the abov(^ description the doctor 
adds the following: "The building was erected under the direc- 
tion of a committee appointed by the subscribers, and consisting 
of Dr. Elias Smith and Isaac Taylor and John M. Cary, to whom 
the thanks of this couununity are eminently due for their assidu- 
ous, judicious and gratuitous prosecution of the work to a suc- 
cessful close." 

For the next three oi- four years nothing much occurred in 
the development of this school, outside of the fact that subscrip- 
tions were urged, the building was improved, library enlarged 
and various equipment added. 

In the spring of 1857 so prosperous had the institution be- 
come a second building was declared necessary. The citizens of 
Racine assisted liberally and in November of the same year the 
announcement was made that $12,000 had been subscribed. The 
corner-stone was laid on July 4th by Bishop Kemper. The build- 
ing was located about 240 feet south of Park Hall. 

In September, 1859, Racine College effected a union with 
St. John's Hall, a small institution located at Helafield, Wiscon- 
sin, Dr. Park resigning the presidency at the time of the union. 
Dr. James De Koven, former head of the St. John's school, be- 
came the new president of the Racine College. 

In the year 1864 Park Hall, with the exception of one wing, 
was ])iu^ned to the ground. The people of Racine again contrib- 
uted to the restoration of the building, which was accomplished, 
also a separate building, designed as a chapel, was constructed. 
The corner-stone of the latter was laid on August 18, 1874. This 
was located on a line half way between Park and Kemper Halls. 
Another step of the year was the eidargement of the college 
domain from ten to ninety acres. The additional land was pur- 
chased from the estate of Marshall M. Strong. 

In October, 1866, Mrs. Isaac Taylor died and in her will be- 
queathed to Racine College the sum of $65,000, $30,000 nf which 
was to be used for the erection of a new building, the remainder 
in various other ways for the good of the institution. The corner- 


stone of Taylor Hall a<-c(ir(liii,niy was laid .luiic 22, 18(57, and the 
buildino' finished and (M-cupied before the following Christmas. 
Tt was located on the northwest corner of the (inadrangle. The 
buildinsj,' was burned in 1875, but soon after restored. Nelson 
Pendleton was also a strong contributor to Raeine College. 

A building for the i»iii'])ose of a dining hall was erected in 
1871. The funds wci'c secured through subscriptions and by an 

As stated before, at first the school comprised a full collegiate 
department and a preparatory school for boys. In the year 1889 
the trustees, feeling that the endowments would be insufficient 
to maintain the high standard of education which had character- 
ized the college, decided to discontinue the work of the collegiate 
depai'tment, and since that time the institution has been con- 
ducted as a high class school for boys. The name remains \m- 
changed, being in conformity with the original meaning of the 
word and with the usage of many institutions of similar grade 
in this country and in England. 

Racine College is situated at the soutlu'rn limit of the city of 
Racine on a bluff ovei-looking Lake Michigan. Its elevation 
allows a ])erfect drainage and the lake insures a moderate tem- 
perature both in winter and summer. All of the buildings, con- 
structed after the English scholastic style of architecture, are 
situated on three sides of a spacious (piadrangle. On the east 
side are Park and Kemper Halls and the intervening schoolrooms 
and dining hall, all presenting a continuous front of 500 feet. 
Taylor Hall is on the west side, the gymnasium and swimming 
pool ai-e at the southwest corner, and the chapel stands in the 
middle of the quadrangle. A little to the south is a new laundry 
and a home for the servants, also, some distance away, is an isola- 
tion hospital. 

One of the features of the school at the prt'sent time is the 
military drill. There is a modified military system which has 
been worked out with the view of attaining all the good results 
and of eliminating all the undesirable features. Tt is kept in 
subordination to the general work of the school. 

The institution is governed by a president and a board of 
trustees, the latter consisting of twenty-eight members, of whom 
the following act now as an executive committee: Alfred J. Limt, 
Frederick Robinson, E. B. Belden, A. Hasell Lance, Arthur 



SiiiKiii.soii, 11. F. -Jdluisou and Warren J. Davis. There are eleven 
members of the facility. 

The attendance (if this schudl. while of small in'oportions 
comparatively, is of substantial character and made up of well- 
selected youths. Flach year brings a satisfactory increase in en- 
I'dllment and warrants the assertion that Ixacine College will live 
and maintain liei' standing among dendminational schools for 
an indefinite jieridd. 


After Col. John (i. McMynn had resigned from a responsible 
position in the office of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine com- 
pany in 1875, he was asked by several prominent Racine gentle- 
men to prepare their S(ms for college. Among these were Judge 
C. K. Dyer. John T. Fish, Stt'idien Bull, J. 1. Case and Robei't H. 
Baker. In the fall of 1875 scholars began coming for recitations 
to Col. McMyim's home, corner of Wisconsin and Tenth Streets, 
until the numbei- became too large for accommodation, even in 
an unusually commodious dwelling. It was })roposed that a suit- 
able building be erected by interested jiatrons, but as Col. Mc- 
Mynn owned a vacant lot on College Avenue and Tenth Street, 
he built for himself an ideal school house as a home for Racine 
Academy. Early in January, 187G, a formal dedication of this 
building occuri'cd. at which interesting remarks of congratula- 
tion were made by H. (t. Winsk)W, Father Matth(>w, John T. Fish 
and others. Seats in the main assembly room were all taken 
before the formal opening of the school, and a younger class were 
in waiting for the preparation of a lower room with similar ac- 

In the year 1876-1877 there were enrolled 98 students, terms 
$100 for the acad(!mic course and $60 foi- the preparatory class. 
There were three courses of study, towit: The English conrse, 
the classical course and the commercial course, the last named 
being intended for young men who desired a practical business 
education. Several young ladies entered the academy and four 
of these formed the first graduating class in 1877, viz.: Miss Ida 
Canfield, Miss Clara Fratt, Miss Sarah Morrison and Miss May 

Various teachers were employed during the first year, 
amongst whom were the Misses Root, May, Morrison, Sweetser 
and Sampson. W. W. Rowlands was given charge of the pre- 


paratory department. After the first year the corps of teachers 
were: John G. McMymi, A. M., principal; T. L. Smeder, A. M.; 
W. W. Rowhmds, A. JM.; ]\Irs. Marion jVlcMynn, preceptress; S. 
W. Vance, instrnctor in French, (ilernian and elocution; Robert 
Hindley, lecturer on chemistry. From one of the early catalogues 
of "Racine Academy" we make the following quotation: 

"The object sought in the establishment of this school is to 
afford to young men and to yomig women the facilities for obtain- 
ing such training and instruction as are necessary to prepare 
them for business pursuits or for entering college. 

"The n;miber of students is limited, while the number of 
teachers and instructors is sufficient to secure for each student 
the special training so necessary to rapid progress in study. 

"Daily lectures are given on subjects relating to manners 
and morals, and the attention of students is daily called to cur- 
rent events of importance as published in periodicals and news- 

"The school is under the careful supervision of the principal, 
who will give personal attention to the ability and character of 
each of his pupils. Individual interests will not be subordinated 
to gradation and classification." 

In May, 1882, Col. McMynn suffered a severe attack of in- 
somnia, and his partial deafness, the residt of military service, 
gradually increased mitil he felt obliged to give the school into 
the hands of T. L. Smedes, who had served as vice principal. The 
personal atmosphci-e of the Academy now was gone and the in- 
stitution declined in influence. From 1889 to 1892 were its last 
efforts to survive, under the guidance of Prof. Rowlands. 

The term was completed and diplomas were awarded by 
Col. McMynn to those who had finished the required course of 
study, making in all fifty-three graduates of Racine Academy 
during the seven years, from 1875 to 1882. Many of these entered 
various colleges, amongst which were the State University, Wil- 
liams, Princeton, Beloit, Lawrence, Harvard and Yale. 

Many of the best known business and professional men of 
Racine attended the Academy, and attribute their success largely 
to the thorough training of that institution. Arthur M. Corwin, 
a Chicago physician; J. C. Cribb, a real estate dealer in Los An- 
geles, and many others have gratefully acknowledged their in- 
debtedness to Col. McMvnn as an ideal teacher. 


Mrs. Marion (Clarice) McMynn, wife of the founder of Ka- 
cine Af'adeniy, relates in an intcn-esting manner how Col. Mc- 
Mynn came into possession of the lot on which the institution 
was built. She gives to her sketch the title of 


Away back in the '50s Judge Doolittle came to my father, 
Norman Clarke, with a proposition looking to a four years' course 
(if study for his son, Henry, in Harvard. 

Judge Doolittle had accepted an acre of land, out on the 
prairie northwest of Chicago, as compensation for legal services. 
He proposed deeding that land to m_v father, valuing it at $1,600, 
receiving for it that amount in four annual instalments of $400 
each to be devoted to the education of his son. This transaction 
was duly consununated and proved eminently satisfactory to both 
parties. Some years later, after the Civil war. Col. McMynn pur- 
chased the home of Isaac J. Ullman, on the corner of Wisconsin 
and Tenth Streets, where he and his family resided imtil 1886. 
Back of this property was a lot owned by Lucius Blake. My 
father made an exchange, deeding to Mr. Blake an imdivided 
quarter of his Chicago lot (acre) for the College Avenue lot, add- 
ing it to the family homestead. 

After Col. McMynn resigned his position in the office of J. I. 
Case & Co., where for seven years he had been an important 
factor, several prominent citizens of Racine asked that he would 
prepare their sons for college. Col. McJNIynn was glad to re- 
sume his chosen jirofession of teaching. As his residence was 
large, he allowed students to come there for recitations until 
about twenty, both boys and girls, were coming daily to the house. 
As the number was increasing, his friends proposed putting up 
a house for the accommodation of his school. 

His wife suggested using the College Avenue lot for this 
purpose, and Col. McMjTin erected his (»wn building, paying for 
it from tuitions, the first year. 

From Racine Academy over sixty entered college and car- 
ried with them the results of the thorough preparation which 
gave the school its deservedly high reputation. After seven 
years of successful teaching Col. McMynn retired, having closed 
the interesting history which gave me a title for this sketch, "An 
Educational Acre." 



The (nistdin df keeping a scrap Ixiok oi' a diary was prevalent 
ill the cai-ly days, especially among members of the weaker sex, 
and to this custom the readers of this sketch may consider them- 
selves indebted for a few notes herein, culled from a scrap book 
of Mrs. jNIcMynn's, relating to educational matters and deemed 
by that most excellent woman woi'thy of preservation. Observe 
the following: 

"From a newspaper cli]>])ing, midated but published prob- 
ably in the '40s, was an account of an (>xamination of teachers 
by the superintendent and school connnissioners, held at the 
'brick school house' in the Sixth ward, and lasting one day. The 
board met in the evening after the examinations and voted to 
allow the male teachers thirty dollars per month for their serv- 
ices, and the female teachers were allowed sixteen dollars per 

"In accordance with a notice published in a previous issue 
of this paper, the teachers of different parts of the state of Wis- 
consin met in the city of Racine August 31, 1852, for the purpose 
of taking into consideration the propriety of calling a convention 
of teachers for the Stat(^ of Wisconsin. Rev. A. C. Barry was 
called to the chair and R. Baker chosen secretary. The commit- 
tee selected to draft the call reported as follows: Resolved, That 
the undersigned, teachers and friends of educaticm of the State 
of Wisconsin, believing that the interests of education require 
a greater concert of action on oui' ])ai't. would respectfully name 
Elkhorn as a suitable place, and the 20th and 21st of October 
next as the proper time for holding a convention for the purpose 
of organizing a state teachers' association, and to transact any 
other business pertaining to the interest of education. Signed. 
M. W. Carroll, chairman. 


On .June 1, 1855, students in the high school were examined 
ill algebra, arithmetic, analysis of language, etymology, geog- 
rai»li\-. ])liysiology. chemistry, (lireek, Latin, French and read- 
ing. In those days it was the custom for officials of the city to 
grace all occasions of this character, and this examination was 
no exception to the rule, as the scrap book notes the presence of 
Ma\dr Wiistum, several aldermen and most of the school com- 





iiiissioners. M. P. Kinney, city snpoi'intcndcnt of sciiools, and 
Rdswcll Park addressed the gathering. Also appeared on this 
iiKinientons bi-ain test, as was the invariable rule, visitors of an 
unofficial character mid pai-ciits of the jmpils. Visitors were al- 
lowed to examine the boys and girls, and Dr. P. R. Hay, Rev. G. 
M. S. Blauvelt, IT. G. Winslow, Rev. Dr. Pai-k and Rev. M. P. 
Kinney asked them some questions. Pupils down on the pro- 
gram for compositions were the Misses K. L. Winters, C. A. 
Sinclair, L. A. Gather, S. Sinclair, Emily Butterfield, F. M. Robin- 
son, H. F. Sexton, S. M. Skinner, A. Wells, A. E. Norton, A. T. 
Porter, Eliza Raymond, L. E. Searle, M. F. Clarke, E. S. Butter- 
held; declamations: George A. Stearns, Thomas E. Caley, Charles 
Upham, Chris A. Lefler, T. W. Bull, Ole Nelson, Theodore Lees, 
W. H. Mcintosh, John W. Stearns, W. R. Hill, Alfred L. Gary, 
Tloratio G. Billings, Elgbert Jameison, Jr. The topics of com- 
positions for the examinations of 1857 were quite suggestive. 
That selected J)y Emily C. Lynde had for its title "High-Heeled 
Shoes"; "How Prof. Stoddard Teases Me" was graphically and 
no doubt huomorously treated by Kate A. Carpenter to the de- 
light of her auditors; "M,y Forest Hcmie" was the theme of Mary 
\Vhip]ile's essay, and "Gold, Its History," that of Lucretia May. 
"The Two Old Oaks" was the selection of Sophia Smith, and 
"Cuba" was remembered by Eliza Smith. 

"A flag raising in the Fifth ward school yard attracted a 
large concourse of people to that locality in 1861. J. G. McMynn 
was the chairman of the gathering. Among others who spoke 
at this time were H. G. Winslow, W. P. Lycm, N. H. Dale and 
Rev. W. Peterson of the Scandinavian church." 


Mention already has been made of the first school taught 
in Racine, but it is highly probable that more than one person 
had under his or her tutelage children of settlers who were in 
circumstances pemiitting them to engage private tutors, and 
thus prepare their son or daughter for an eastern college or semi- 
nary. But Racine hardly had been out of her swaddling clothes 
when subscription schools were opened and the town took on 
cosmopolitan airs, when "the female seminary" was opened. 
Mrs. Gilbert Knapp, wife of the first settler of Racine county 
and founder of the City of Racine, taught several of the young- 


sters of the new town in 1840, in a room on the second tioor of a 
building near the foot of :\Iain Street. Miss F. Bull and Mary 
Slausson Avere among the girls then under Mrs. Knapp's care, and 
owing to the bad state of the roads were taken to school on horse- 
back by their fathers. In the year of 1850 the "Old Oaken 
Bucket" had the following advertisement: "R. Baker will com- 
mence giving lessons Monday evening, October 26, 1850, in the 
basement of the Methodist church. Terms, only 75 cents for 
twelve evenings." 

Mrs. Ennna L. (H(jpkins) Cartlidge, in a eonnnunication to 
E. W. Leach of recent date, believes "the Misses Searle opened 
a school for young ladies in a building innnediately in the rear 
of and joined to the First Congregational church, then on Main 
Street near Sixth. A night school was held in the same building 
on certain nights in the week, and the l)uilding and church were 
burned in the winter of '51 and '52. 


The first session of Bowman's Academy was opened on the 
morning of April 1, 1852, by Rev. John A. Bowman, principal, 
and Mrs. M. W. BowTnan, principal of the female department. 
The pupils were matriculated under a board of examiners com- 
posed of Rev. William Rollinscm, Rev. A. C. Barry, Dr. P. R. 
Hoy, Dr. Elias Smith, Hon. W. E. Wording, S. D. Cushman, Rev. 
L. M. Humphrey, Dr. S. W. Wilson, Major Israel J. Ullman, 
James R. Doolittle and John W. Gary. "Terms per session of 
eleven weeks: Preparatory department, $3; junior class, $4; 
senior class, $5; Latin, Greek and French, $2 extra; drawing 
(extra), $2. Academic building now being fitted up on Barn- 
stable Street (now Gollege Avenue), opposite the West public 
square. Students received at present on the corner of Wiscon- 
sin and Tenth Streets." The academy started out under very 
favorable auspices, and the board of examiners united in a letter 
strongly recommending the academy to the people of Racine and 
vicinity. Like its predecessors and later schools of a private 
nature, the institution long since has gone into history as a thing 
of the past. 


Miss Lucretia May after a jx'riod of two years as a teacher 
in the public scliools "decided in 18(57 to open a private school, as 


the public schools were so crowded that some of my friends dis- 
liked the idea of sending- their little children there," to use her 
own way of giving her reason for the innovation. Miss jMay 
rented a room at the corner of Eleventh Street and Lake Avenue, 
and it was anticipated by her that she would have about from 
ten to fifteen pupils, "but to my surprise," she says, "my school 
opened with twenty-five pupils, and except for a few weeks at a 
time in midwinter I never registered a smaller nmnber. In warm 
weather I often had as many as forty scholars." 

After the school had been running two years Miss May's 
father built for her a house on Wisconsin Street between Eleventh 
and Twelfth. Here the children were given better accommoda- 
tions; their ages ranged from six to fourteen years and some- 
times they were somewhat older. A sister (now Mrs. Bryan) 
assisted in the instructions until her marriage took place, and 
after that event ^liss Kate vSmith. now of Minneapolis, became 
the assistant. 

In relating her methods Miss May states: "I was particular 
to use the same text books as those used in the public schools, so 
that scholars could easily go from my school to the city schools, 
and the principals of the high school were very kind in letting 
me know when a change in books was to be made. I also made 
my hours of study, length of term and holidays conform with 
those of the city schools, and I believe much of my success was 
due to my observing these rules. At Mr. McMynn's request I 
left my school in charge of my sister and taught for a year at the 
McMynn Academy, but my sister marrying in 1877 compelled me 
to go back to my own school, where I remained until 1880." 

At the request of J. I. Case, and Messrs. Erskine and Baker, 
who were trustees of the Home School, Miss jNIay transferred her 
school to the building on Park Avenue, which they had bought 
for the principal, ^Irs. McMurphy, and the children were made 
a part of the preparatory department of that institution. She 
took with her forty-two boys and girls, and remained in charge 
of her classes until 1882 and then retired from teaching. ]\Iiss 
May's memory recalls among her best known pupils, "all the 
children of Stephen Bull, Judge Dyer and B. B. Northrop; the 
three daughters of J. I. Case, and Mr. Fuller's two sons; Judge 
Lyon's son and daughter; Mrs. A. J. Lunt, A. J. Horlick, Mrs. 
Olympia Brown's son and daughter; Arthur and Frank Guil- 


bert, (U'orgc and -Joseph Ijukcs, and the late Mrs. Mary Gilman. 
Others who may ])e mentioned were Emma Goold, Gilbert Mc- 
Clurg, Eva and Kate Cooley, Ella Beswick, Anna Hanson, Clara 
Lyon. John Williams and George Williams. 


The Home School, a l)oarding and day school for girls, was 
fonnded in 1877 by Mrs. Mary L. McMurphy, whose financial as- 
sistance came from snch well known citizens as J. T. Case, M. B. 
Erskine and R. H. Baker. This establishment, which was sit- 
nated at 928 Park Avemio, soon became an accredited preparatory 
school, its gradnates l)eing accepted n])on certificate at the lead- 
ing colleges of the east. During its continuance it numbered 
among its lecturers and teachers some very distinguished in- 
structors. Among them were Dr. Alexander Falk, instructor in 
German; Prof. Nicholas Bische, graduate professor of the mii- 
vei'sity at Nancy, Lorraine; Prof. Montonnier, from the Univer- 
sity of Paris; Messrs. l\olfe and Eldridge of the School of P^'ine 
Arts, Paris. 

The school closed its work in 1894, while still under the man- 
agement of Mrs. Mc]Mur])hy. Among the graduates now living 
in Racine are Mrs. Herbert Miles, Mrs. C. J. Richards, Mrs. Mor- 
timer Walker, Miss Lutie Warner, Miss Nettie Roe, Mrs. John 
PL Dickson, Mrs. F. A. Morey, Mrs. E. B. Belden, Mrs. J. S. 
Keech, Mrs. P. M. Wackerhagen and Mrs. F. L. Norton. 


The Racine Industrial and Continuation School was estab- 
lished in October, 1911. It was the first school organized in Wis- 
consin under the new Continuaticm School law of that year. The 
first classes for boys wci'c held in rooms rented from the Y. M. 
C. A. At that time one hundred and fifty boys under sixteen 
years of age were rounded up and bi'ought into the school for 
instruction in citizenshi]), mathematics and mechanical drawing. 
These boys had left thi' regular schools to go to woi'k. They had 
been laid off or lost their jobs, but had not returned to the regular 
schools. Many were loafing about the streets, and getting into all 
kinds of mischief. This pioneer work in Continuation School in- 
struction was carried on under the handicaj) of lack of precedent 
and of understanding by the comiiumity of the ])ur]iose in view. 


But the fact that it serves to take hoys troin the streets to apply 
themselves to useful forms of study in itself constituted a j^reat 
good for the comuuuiity, as well as for the boys themselves. At 
the same time rooms wei-c ))rovided, through the com-tesy of the 
Chicago Rubber Company, for the instruction of gii-ls between 
fourteen and sixteen years of age who had left the regular schools 
to go to work. The gii'ls were taught sewing, cooking, hygiene 
and citizenshi]). 

September 1, 1913, the two top doors of the Secor block were 
rented and the activities of the school were further developed by 
the oi'ganization of a woodwoi-king department. This instruction 
followed the lines of manual training. 

In 1914 a machine shop was fitted out with lathes, milling 
machine, drill press, gas engine, forge and sheet metal tools for 
the purpose of providing instruction related to metal trades. The 
character of instruction was changed. Competent teachers for 
sho]^ practice and mechanical drawing were obtained from one 
of the large corporations of Tfacine. These teachers vauk as 
skilled \vorkers in their department, and are fully conij)etent to 
instruct young and old in pattern making, general wood\vorking, 
machine shop practice, sheet metal work, gas engin(> ])ractice, 
electrical work, mechanical drawing and shop mathematics. The 
work in the school shops assumed a productive character. In- 
stead of exercises, boys were given work to do making articles 
for use. Progress so far along these lines has been so satisfac- 
tory that it is only a matter of time when the Industrial and Con- 
tinuation school will ]iossess the distinctive character of an "Ed- 
ucation Sho})." 

The range of instruction provided for permit workers for 
both l)oys and girls, English, citizenship, physiology and hygiene; 
for girls, <'ooking, sewing, millinery and commercial subjects, 
and for boys, pattern making, cabinet work, carpentry, machin- 
ist, sheet metal work, forge practice, printing, mechanical draw- 
ing, shop mathematics and electricity. 


Some a])])rentices have been obtained for attendance on the 
day insti-uction live hours each week. The Arnold Electric Com- 
pany is the first firm in Racine to indenture an apprentice under 
the n(>w apprentice law of 1911. A boy was selected from the 


Iiulustrial and Continuation School and placed as a toolniaker 
apprentice. The Case Plow has an apprentice in the toolroom 
attending the day class. The Horlick Malted Milk Company has 
an api)rentice in the power department, an electrical worker ap- 
prentice in attendance on the day instruction. The Hartman 
Trunk Company has two workers over sixteen years of age at- 
tending the day class. 

Other employers have indicated their intention to employ 
apprentices and co-operate for part time attendance on instruc- 
tions ]irovided in the school. The instruction is in related draw- 
ing and mathematics. There are over twenty apprentices in the 
evening school, in the pattern making, machinist and carpenter 


Over 500 are in thi' English and Citizenship classes, held in 
the high school, and there are nearly 500 additional in the Stephen 
Bull evening school. The interest displayed by those in attend- 
ance is a promise of good citizenship. It is the custom to have 
an assembly of all pupils on Friday evenings in the auditorium 
to listen to a talk by some representative citizen or city official. 
During the last year the mayor of the city, the Municipal Court 
judge and other prominent citizens have spoken to the pupils. 
There is no more powerful influence at work in this city making 
for good citizenship than the instruction afforded in the evening 
classes in English and citizenship. 


One activity of the evening school which has been heralded 
all over the country is the class for janitors in ventilation and 
heating. The secretary of the board of industrial education has 
received over 100 inquiries from east and west regarding the 
course, and the Chicago Record Herald had an illustrated article 
witli illustrations descriptive of this most practical work. 

The co-operation of the university extension is shown in 
the development of this instruction. This department of the uni- 
vei'sity secured a trained teacher for the work and had him make 
an investigation of school conditions for the pTn'i)ose of making 
the instruction apply definitely to the needs of janitors. The 
results have been wonderful. The janitors are enthusiastic and 
grateful for the improvement they obtained by means of this 


instruction. Tho ventilation and heating- in the public sc1k)o1s 
has shown a remarkable improvement, which makes for the 
health and comfort of the children of the city. Nothing could 
illusti'ate the practical nature of the educational work of the In- 
dustrial and Continuation school better than this course. 


A class has been organized in Spanish. It was found that 
in many of the firms in the city there was need for knowledge 
of Spanish in handling business in South America. Two com- 
petent teachers were o])tained. one from the export dei)artment 
of a Racine corporation and one, a teacher of Spanish in the city. 
There is an enrollment of about 150, most of whom are from the 
offices of business and manufacturing firms in Racine. The 
World's Work Magazine, the only magazine printing an edition 
in Spanish for distribution in South America, sent the school 
copies for use in the classes, at the request of Mr. H. E. Miles, 
president of the state board of industrial education. 


President John Wiechers, W. G. Clittings, J. W. Dearsley, 
C. W. Miller, Secretary B. E. Nelson, superintendent of schools, 
member ex-officio. 


A. R. Graham, supervisor; Elizabeth Fratt, domestic science; 
Tvah Gish, sewing; Mrs. Harry Orth, academic subjects; A. J. 
Dremel, mechanical drawing; Anton Petersen, pattern making; 
Julius Schultz, machine shop; Mary Moyle, printing; Marian 
Corse, commercial and office assistant; G. L. Sprague, Stout In- 
stitute co-ordinator for apprentices and evening industrial or- 
ganization and instruction. 


The Wisecmsin Business college is one of Racine's institu- 
tions calling for special mention in a measure. It was estab- 
lished by Charles F. Moore in August, 1902, at 403 Uam Street, 
and i-emoved to 415 1-2 Main in 1915. At the beginning the school 
had an attendance of fifty-seven pupils, which by 1907 was in- 
creased to 108, and since then as many as 180 names have been 
on the roll at one time. Prof. Moore came to Racine from Indiana 
and has been quite successful in his enterprise. 



There is an iiisuperaltle difficulty in the way of preparing 
an altogether satisfactory history of Kacine's public library. De- 
tails, such as names, dates and locations, ai*e not to be secured 
with an al)s(ilutc degree of detiniteness, and much that has been 
accepted can only be related as of general significance. 

It is a well known fact that the inception of the present pub- 
lic library was made possible by a movement started in that direc- 
tion in the fall f)f 1895, but just when the first public lilirary in 
Racine came into existence is not certain. Be that as it may, it 
is recorded in the annals of Racine that socm after J. 0. McMynn 
took charge of the public schools here he conunenced (or caused 
to be commenced) a collection of books as a nucleus of a library 
for the high school, which in the passage of time grew to several 
hundred volumes. This collection of books eventually found its 
way into and became a ])art of the present library. 


Barring the high school library, perhaps the one long main- 
tained at Racine Junction may be given credit for taking the 
initial steps in the direction under ccmsideration. And it is 
mainly owing to the organization of the Presbyterian Simday 
school ill that locality that a renewed interest in the subject was 
given impetus. It came about in this way: V. (r. Durant, who 
had moved the present Racine Hardware Company's plant from 
Kenosha to Racine Junction in 1874, at (mce realized the neces- 
sity of having a Sunday school in that neighborhood, and soon a 
movement towards the establishment of (me resulted in the ac- 
complishment of the desired pur]»<ise. The first and many other 
meetings of this Sunday school were held in the union depot at 
the Junction, "the pupils faithfully carrying the little wooden 
benches back and forth from under the high platform outside the 
building, and the teachers, equally as faithful, carrying their arm- 


chairs back and forth from the hardware company's office, which 
was then nearly at Sixteenth Street." In course of time the Sun- 
day school was in possession of a house of its own and then the 
library was started. At that time the only library in the city 
was a collection of worn and musty books belonging to the high 
school. The school of the church had no money with which to 
buy books or put up shelves for their reception when obtained, so 
that with commendable zeal the young people erected a few- 
shelves with lumlxT donated l)y friends of the Sunday school, 
and on them carefully and lovingly |)laced a varied assortment 
of old volumes w^hich had been generously contributed. Then 
the enthusiasts gave an entertainment, more books were secured 
and five cents a week was charged for the use of each volume. 
Increasing demands for books pressed upon the management of 
this worthy enterprise to that extent that recourse frequently 
was made to the life giving benefits of festivals and other diver- 
tisements to secure the ready and ahvays necessary cash. The 
library gre\v in importance, in necessity and in the hearts of 
the comnuuiity, and when Wednesday nights and Saturday after- 
noons came around — the times for collection and distribution of 
books — the popularity of the library was ahvays manifest by the 
numbers of patrons waiting their turn at the librarian's desk. 

Among those most closely identified with the library and of 
the active workers may be mentioned Alice Hamilton and Ella 
Phelps, now deceased; Lura Cogswell, Sarah Cogswell, Mary Ord, 
Carrie Paul, John Bickel, F. W. McAdew, Allan Terry, F. Ma- 
loney, William Bell and John Corce. There were others ever 
ready to assist the library when entertainments were given to 
secure funds for its support. The names of all cannot be recalled, 
but those now remembered are Mary Clancey Staples, who always 
esteemed it a favor to be asked to help with her music any w^orthy 
cause, and Alice Kranz Tyrell never failed when asked for the 
help of her beautiful voice. Then there was Susie Roberts Bol- 
ton and her brothers, and the quartette of the Methodist church, 
Messrs. McAdew and Leach and Misses Roberts and Sproat. For 
many years the Presbyterian Sunday school library was one of 
the institutions of the Junction, J)ut now its identity is lost. Some 
time since the books were turned over to the Racine public library 
and are now a i)art of that most excellent benefaction. 



In the autumn of 1895 an invitation was extended to all 
ladies of Racine who were interested in a i)ublic library to meet 
witli Mrs. A. W. Guilbert, and at that meeting a committee was 
appointed to confer with members of the Business Men's Asso- 
ciation, the result of which and other forces led to the formation 
of a library association in January, 1896. with a membership of 
218. Charles H. Miner was selected for president of the asso- 
ciation; jNIrs. J. C. McMurphy, vice president; Charles Carpen- 
ter, treasurer; Mrs. C. S. Beebe, secretary. This body undertook 
to arouse a favorable public sentiment and so far succeeded that 
the council, in compliance with that sentiment, at the following 
municipal election submitted to a vote of the })eople, the ques- 
tion of levying a tax for library purposes, the result of which 
was favorable to the project. In the meantime the state library 
association had held a successful district convention here, and 
some enthusiasm was aroused and much knowledge regarding 
approved methods gained by those who attended the meeting. At 
about the same time the Woman's Club was organized and a sec- 
tion of its constitution reads: "It shall be one of the objects of 
this club to aid all movements towards the establishment of a free 
public lil)rary." The influence of the members of that woman's 
society had a great deal to do with the success of the enterprise. 

In eomplicance with the requirements of the state library 
laws David G. Janes, mayor of the city, appointed nine directors 
(all of whom were confirmed by the council), made up of the fol- 
lowing esteemed men and women: C. H. Lee, Thomas ]\I. Kear- 
ney, Charles Giesler, Martin Clancey, A. J. Volland, L. Shaffer. 
Mrs. J. C. MclVIurphy, Mrs. George W. Hopper and Mrs. C. S. 
Beebe. At a meeting of the board of directors, held July 24. 1896, 
Charles H. Lee was by that body elected president; Charles Gies- 
ler, treasurer; Mrs. C. S. Beebe, secretary. 

The fund derived from taxes levied for library purposes 
was found to be insufficient even for running expenses, not to 
mention the purchase of books, but through the generosity of 
the representatives of the Erskine estate, Charles H. Lee and 
William Horlick, the sum of $2,500 was promised on condition 
that $2,500 additional should be secured within a specified time. 
Then came a business depression which militated against the 


pro^j'css of the undcrtakiiii^ until tlu' valiant efforts of Mcsdames 
W. W. Din^ee and A. W. (luilbert and others swelled the book 
fund in the hands of the board to $5,112. A room in the Seeor 
lilock was then occuitied and Miss Elizabeth Clarke installed as 
lil)rai'ian. The libi-ary was formally opened Sept. 19, 1897, and 
that fall, upon the i'esi.i;nation of Miss Clarke, a lady was in- 
stalled as librarian who retains the responsible position at this 
day, Miss Mary Calkins. She at first was assisted by the Misses 
Rikenian and Eager, and assembled and classified 3,439 volumes 
of books of a multifarious eharacter. These included 647 books 
from the old high school library, 51 from the ({erman Ladies' 
Aid society, 40 from the A¥oman's club, and 840 contributed by 
other societies and individuals. After appiopriate exercises the 
Racine jniblic library set forth on its career with the good will 
of a ])leased comnnniity, September 9, 1897. 


Like all cities, Racine's public spirited citizens having the 
enterprise in hand, fomid their resourcefulness and courage 
taxed at times to the bi'caking point, in the effort to keep the 
library running in a manner connnensurate with the importance 
of the growing city and hei' ever increasing demands for more 
library room and api)roved publications as they appeared on the 
mark-et. The crowded condition of the library became a matter 
foi' conuncnt on every hand, and the fact that the city had not 
1)ought a book for the institution from its foundation up to the 
year of 1900 awakened its friends t(» the gravity of the situation, 
and, in 1900, to meet the immediate needs, a timely gift of $500 
was received from a coterie of citizens consisting of Stejjhen 
Bull, W. H. Crosby, H. E. Miles, H. M. Wallis, C. H. Lee and 
E. L. and C. H. Baker. Pi'evious to this hai)i)y turning of the ways 
the Woman's club, in 1898, "again came to the aid of the library 
by opening two reading rooms for children, one at Racine -Func- 
tion and the othei- on North Wisconsin Street." The lilu-ary tax 
of one-fouitli mill on the dollar about this time had been increased 
to three-tenths, giving an income of $3,138.45 in 1900. 

In 1900 O. W. Johnson, H. E. Miles, E. L. Baker, the Horlick 
Food Company, IT. M. Wallis, C. IT. Lee and F. L. Mitchell, hav- 
ing the interests and welfai'e of the lil)rary in mind and desiring 
to see the institution in a home of its own, offered $10,000 for a 

I'hoLo furni^lieil by Billings 




library building, oii condition that $15,000 more should be sub- 
scribed and that the West Park should be the site; the city au- 
thorities were also to obligate themselves to levy an annual tax 
not less than one-quarter of a mill on the assessed valuation of 
the taxable ])roperty of the city. However, many and great were 
the objections set up against the park being diverted from its 
original use, and the City Council was thereby prevented from 
meeting its part of the provisions of the offer. This seemed to 
be a body blow to the hojics of the city having a library building 
for years to come, but alxtut this time "The Laird of Skibo" was 
in the full tlush of his desired etfoi'ts to die a poor man, and Car- 
negie libraries were popping up hitlici- and yon like iiiushi'ooms 
in the night season. Letters had been in the hands of Mr. Car- 
negie's secretary, in which certain TJacinc people had asked the 
philanthropist to consider Ivacine as willing to take advantage 
of his ])enefactions, and that a library building was fervently de- 
sired and badly needed in this growing and prosperous town on 
the lake. After the lapse of a year's time R. F. Franks, financial 
secretary to the iron king, in a letter acknowledging the request 
of Racine, stated that Mr. Carnegie woud be pleased to extend 
his good offices to Racine and, with the inevitable conditions, ex- 
pressed his willingness to give the city $50,000 for a library build- 
ing. Congressman Cooper, representing this district, also re- 
ceived a letter from Secretary Franks to the same effect, which 
communications were laid before the board of library directoi's 
in December, 1901. Mr. Carnegie's conditions that go with his 
gifts fo]' library buildings are stereotyped and are the same in 
purport wherever made and accepted. These conditions were 
in due time given to the community at large and in substance 
were as follows: That the city of Racine furnish a suitable site 
for the proposed library building and guarantee for the support 
of the library a sum of money annually at least equal in amount 
to 10 per cent of the donation. The requirements of Mr. Carnegie 
were agreed to and the gift was legalized by the passage of an 
ordinance by the city council in January, 1902, accepting it and 
providing for the maintenance of the institution by an annual 
tax of $5,000. 


Having $50,000 at its command, the library board had on its 
hands the difficult task of selecting a site for the proposed build- 


ing, and at a regular sitting of that body a building committee 
was appointed with Thomas M. Kearney as its chairman. At a 
later meeting, February 11, 1902, the chairmen of the three stand- 
ing committees were empowered to confer with the citizens' com- 
mittee. In March of the year last mentioned about $10,000 had 
been subscribed towards a stated amount for the site and the 
board of directors recommended to the council that the north- 
west corner of Wisconsin and Fifth streets, valued at $12,500, be 
selected as a site, and that the city be asked to appropriate the 
sum of $2,500 needed to make up the stipulated price of the 
grounds desired. But certain members of the citizens' committee 
were not in favor of this site, .so that the council failed to act 
favorably upon the request of the library committees. There- 
upon the negotiations in progress with Mrs. Mary E. Hall were 
renewed and the site of the library was purchased of her for the 
sum of $15,000, of which Mrs. Hall very generously donated 

The next step was to secure an architect and the choice hap- 
pily fell upon John Lawrence Mauran of St. Louis, whose plans 
were accepted, presented for the criticism of the Western Library 
Association at Madison in August, and were pronounced by that 
body *'The Library Beautiful." 

The contract was let to A. H. Harcus & Co. for $41,000 and 
the work of excavation commenced February 10, 1903. On Dec- 
oration day. May ?>(), 1903, the corner stone of the building was 
laid with the impressive ceremonies usual on like occasions. The 
. late Charles H. Washl)urn was master of ceremonies and the 
stone was placed under the direction of Governor Harvey Post, 
G. A. R. Hon. Charles E. Dyer was orator of the day. 

Racine is possessed of one of the most beautiful and sub- 
stantial lil)iary buildings in the country and she may well be 
proud of it. The structure stands on the southeast corner of 
Main and Seventh Streets, has a frontage on Main Street of 97 
feet and a depth of 80 feet. It is two stories in height and has a 
high basement. The material used is Bedford cut stone, pressed 
bricls: and trimmings of terra cotta. On the main floor are two 
large reading rooms, rooms with modern appliances for books, 
offices of the libra I'ian and other apartments; on the second floor 
is an assembly room, and museum; the basement is given over to 


the storage of newspaper files, toilet rooms, furnace and boiler 
compartments and other uses. 

When the library was ready for the public in 1897 the event 
awakened in the community every sentiment that marks for re- 
joicing, and the world, Racine's world, certainly knew that a 
ceremony of an unusual character was on. For, be it known, the 
rooms in the Secor building, arranged for the library, were for- 
mally thrown open and mider the inspiration of a carefully pre- 
pared program directed by Charles H. Washburn, master of cere- 
monies, the people of the city were welcomed to their own and 
the Racine public library was declared open. But not so with 
the new — the "Library Beautiful." Blare of trumpets and high- 
sounding speech there were none. On the contrary, quietly and 
proudly, one may say, the big front doors of this storehouse of 
learning of the ages were opened wide and the rich and the poor, 
the learned and the unlearned, the haughty and the meek, in fact, 
the whole world was asked to enter its portals and partake of 
the rich abundance of mental pabulum provided for a reading 
public. The ever notable day was March 16, 1904, and it is marked 
on the calendar as one never to be forgotten "in these parts. 



To the Woman's club is due all credit for the movement re- 
sulting in the final estal)lishment of the ISTorth Side Branch library. 
In 1898 the members of this club opened in that locality what was 
then known as the Children's Reading rooms, which continued as 
such until October, 1906, when it became the North Side branch 
of the Racine public library, with rooms in a rented building at 
1619 Milwaukee Avenue. 

The South Side branch was ojxmed May 30, 1914, in a beauti- 
ful new Carnegie building, which cost $10,000, and stands on the 
corner of Washington and Hamilton Avenues. The opening was 
a ceremonial affair, and that part of the city enjoys all the bene- 
fits of a book supply accorded the central district. Referring to 
this utility in her annual report for the fiscal year of 1915, Miss 
Calkins had this to say: "Any doubts as to the need of a branch 
library on the South Side near the Junction district must give 
way before the fact that the people in that part of the city have 
responded in so encouraging a manner to the library advantages 
offered to them. The circulation of books and magazines at the 


south brancli for the year was 89,403. Tliis is more than the rec- 
ord for the first year of the the pul)lie lil)rary, as it was then only 
about 31,000. Of the books read at the South Side two-thirds are 
juvenile, but the ))i'()]Mirti<iu of adult reading' is very good, 14,655 
having been taken by the 'grown up' patrons. Nearly all the 
^\■ork for the South branch has been done by INIiss Lottie Ingram, 
the branch librarian, and Miss llazcd Buck, her assistant." In 
addition to these auxiliaries it should be stated that the main 
library circulates many Ixioks from stations established at eight 
of the public schools, among which is the Continuation school. 
To again revert to Librarian Calkin's report, it is learned that 
"the Continuation and Indiistrial schools are very grateful for 
the books sent to them, and the field of usefulness in that direc- 
tion is very large. Many of the students would never read if 
the books were not near at hand, and the teachers feel that the 
library is a great heljj in the further development of their pupils 
who are out of school, but yet are not old enough to be steady 
workers at trades. The evening classes of foreigners are also 
much helped by the books of easy reading, which enable them 
more easily to acquire our language, and they soon come to be 
steady patrons of the library. Of the numl)er of books in foreign 
languages that have been read, the German ranks first, 2,202 vol- 
umes in this language having been circulated. The Danish-Nor- 
wegian class comes next, having 1,487, and the third largest is 
liithuanian, which numbers 812." The total munber of with- 
drawals from the main librai'v, its branches and the schools 
amounted to 152,601, an increase of 26,093 over the previous 
year's record. 


In closing his annual icpoi't for the fiscal year 1915, John 
B. Sinnnons, president of the library board, remembered the 
services of a citizen, whose heart and hand were ever o])en to 
the best interests of tlu; library. He has I'ecorded in the archives 
of the library these words of praise and ai)pi-eciation: "It is per- 
haps needless to say at this time that the libraiy and library 
work in this city has sustained an incalculable loss during the 
year in the death of (Charles II. Lee, late president of the board, 
who had served in that capacity from the very beginning of its 
existence — yet I, who have had the priAalege to succeed him in 


that (jffice, cannot refrain from i)aying this final tribute to his 
memory by reminding your honorable ])ody and the people of this 
city that to him more than to any other citizen of Racine do we 
owe the advantages afforded by this valuable civic institution." 
Board of directors for IDIG: John B. Sinnnons, president; 
Sarah Morrison, secretary; Dr. J. S. Keech, Fred H. Schulz, Ed- 
ward Hollister, Henry Hartman, Adolph R. Janecky, Susan Por- 
ter, Arthur Simonson, Miss Mary J. Calkins, libarian; Lillian E. 
Jones, Helen D. Gorton, Minnie Olive Hill, Miss Pearl Snell, Miss 
Ruth McTntyre, assistants; also Miss Hazel Buck and Miss Louise 
Boardman of the south branch library. 





The first newspaper to be published in Racine was the Ra- 
cine Argus, bearing the date of Feln-uaiy 14, 1838. This paper 
was a five column folio, under the editorship of N. Delavan Wood. 
Advertisements were confined to a half column and the other 
column spaces which required filling at various times were 
utilized for the publication of state, territorial and national 
statutes. Among the few advertisers in the first issue were a 
notice of the Racine House by J. M. Myers ; Marshall M. Strong, 
attorney; C. R. Alton, district surveyor; Lorenzo Janes, attor- 
ney; F. S. Lovell, attorney; Knight & Capron, drapers and tailors; 
Heath & Parsons, cash dealers in merchandise; a sheriff's sale 
advertised by E. R. Hugunin, potatoes being the article mentioned 
for sale; and a notice of the sailing of the sloop, "Commodore 
Baron," A Leice, master, the following June. The first page of 
this first issue was taken up with prosaic reading matter, includ- 
ing an "Ode to Columbia." The second page was devoted to 
notices of the Canadian troubles and news from China. Presi- 
dent Van Buren and the proposed pre-emption laws were treated. 
The third page held the information that the Argus was owned 
by J. M. Meyers, A. Carey, Gilbert Knapp, Stephen Ives, Lorenzo 
Janes and M. M. Strong. The paper was stated to be Jeffersonian 
Democratic in politics and would not be delivered to anyone with- 
out the "ready coon," the i:)opular expression for money. Some 
discussion was made as to the weather, recording that the coldest 
day of the season had been 13 degrees below zero. The arrival 
and departure of mails was published by Postmaster B. B. Cary. 
Eastern and northern mails arrived on Monday, "Wednesday and 
Friday, usually in the evening, and departed upon the following 


inoriiiiiu-. Western mails arrived Monday eveninc; and were sent 
out Tuesday niornine,-. The names of Samuel Hale, Jr., Roland 
Ives, Seth Warner, Origin Perkins and Adna Lam])Son were given 
as justices, and Lorenzo Janes, Henry F. Cox, Jr., and F. S. Lovell 
as notaries. There were just eighteen numbers of the Racine 
Argus issued, covering the period from February 14 nntil October 
H, 1838. At the latter time the paper died from want of financial 
sup])ort and the difficnlty in getting paper and other supplies. 
While it did last, however, the editors, Marshall M. Strong and 
Lorenzo Janes, made it a very creditable sheet. The material 
was removed to Madison, Wisconsin, and nsed in esta])lishing 
the Wisconsin Enquirer. 


The paper called the Racine Advocate was established on 
November 23, 1842, by Thomas J. Wisner, editor and ])ro]:)rietor, 
and F. B. Ward, printer. The office of the Advocate was located 
at the comer of Wisconsin and Sixth Streets. On August 12, 
1843, Mr. Wisner died of tyi»hus fever and the paper was left 
without an editor until October 31st of the same year, when Mar- 
shall M. Strong assmned the office. On December 17, 1844, Philo 
White became editorial and business manager during Mr. Strong's 
absence as a member of the Territorial Council. On March 24, 
1846, Ml-. White s(.ld the Advocate to J. C. Emmer and O. A. 
Stafford, the former acting as editor. The first issue under the 
new management contained for the first time a "local", depart- 
ment, which was very small. On January 19, 1848, after two 
years of doubtful value, the Advocate was enlarged to a seven- 
colmnn paper. Tt then sui)p()rted Martin Van Buren for the 
Presidency and advocated free territory princijiles. 

After Bvmner and Stafford the next editor was John W^. 
Trowbridge. On April 16, 1851, the names of Bunner, Stafford 
and Trowbridge again appear as proprietors of the i)aper. Hi 
August of the same year the firm of Bunner & Trowl)ridge again 
ai)iK'ars as an editorial caption. On December 21, 1851, John A. 
Harrison purchased the interest of Mr. Trowbridge. December 
15, 1852, Mr. Bunner retired from the editorial staff and Mr. 
?Ta7"i-ison became sole i)i'oprietor. Mr. Bunner removed to Dela- 
van, where he estal)lished the Walworth County Journal. 

With the beginning of the eleventh volume of the Advocate 


on January 26, 1853, Charles rieniont ))()U<;ht the interest of 
Mr. Harrison. On May 11th a daily edition of the paper was 
started and continued for about two years. On November 29, 
1853, Andre Matteson became associated witli Mr. Clement, but 
by April 24, 1854, Mr. Clement was again acting alone, but only 
luitil the end of the year. He sold his newspaper plant to A. C. 
Sandford. In .January. 185(), John Tapley became associated 
with Mr. Sandford in the publication. With the beginning of 
the fifteenth volume the proprietors commenced the publication 
of a morning edition at a penny per copy. This daily did not 
make a success and in ^lay the owners discontinued it and 
devoted their energies to the improvement of the weekly issue. 
On January 1, 1862, Mr. Tapley retired from the Advocate and 
Mr. Sandford became sole editor and proprietor. On January 2, 
1867, the form was changed from that of an eight-colunni folio 
to a six-colunm quarto. 

From October, 1884, until February, 1888, Eliza E. Batchelor 
edited the paper, with ^[r. Sandford as manager. Then Racine 
Franklin Guild took charge, in company with Eliza E. Batchelor 
and E. 0. Hand, with Albert F. Eansom as editor. The paper 
was suspended soon after this. 

In early years the paper was Free Soil Democratic, then 
Anti-Slavery and finally Republican. 


The Racine County Argus, Democratic, was established Sep- 
tember 1, 1868, with William Innes Martin as editor. Z. C. and 
H. ]\I. Wentworth were afterwards editors of this sheet. On 
Octo])er 5, 1871, H. ^\. Wentworth retired from the paper, l)ut 
on March 8, 1872, he again took an interest in the publication. 
On July 31, 1873, Z. C. Wentworth became the sole proprietor, 
and on August 13, 1874. associated his sons with him in the man- 
agement. In A])ril, 1877. Mr. C. F. Ceorge purchased the concern 
and continued as proprietor vmtil April 4, 1878, at which date 
E. A. Egery bought the office. Mr. Egery continued until Decem- 
ber, 1880, and shortly after the paper suspended publication. 


This paper was the first to be published in the Bohemian lan- 
guage in America. It was established in Racine on January 1, 
1860, by Frank Korizek, editor and ])ublisher. During the first 


year it had an averajic circiilaticm of about 400 copies and was a 
small folio sheet. On October 30, 1861, the name was changed 
to Slavie, or Slavia, which meant the ideal mother or the personi- 
fication of the wlidlc Slavonic race. The size of the pajjer was 
increased and the form changed to a small quarto. Korizek con- 
tinued as pul)lisher and V(_)yta Masek became editor. On June 1, 
1863, Charles Jonas assumed editorial control of the paper. Dur- 
ing the following years there were several changes in the owner- 
ship, and from April, 1870, to December, 1872, the paper was 
edited by Vaclav Snyder. Charles and Frederick Jonas were 
sulisequently publishers of the Slavie. During the first year and 
a half of this paper's existence it was the only Bohemian news- 
paper upon this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Other publications 
were also issued by this firm, among them being the Amerikan, 
a weekly, devoted to the wants of newly arrived Bohemian set- 
tlers. There was a dictionary of the English and Bohemian lan- 
guages issued here, which book was comi^iled by Charles Jonas 
in part in 1876. It is said that this was the first English-Bohe- 
mian dictionary ever published. 


The Racine County Wliig was established by Edward Bliss 
in the spring of 1846. 

A paper named the Racine Express existed about 1852, but 
evidently did not survive for any length of time, as very little 
record is obtainable of it. 

The Hyrde Stemmen, a Danish paper, was published in 
Racine by Rev. Chr. Freider and C. Eltzholtz in 1876 and in the 
fall of 1877 is was removed to Chicago. 

The Dannebrog, also a Danish publication, was started by 
T. Sornson in 1876. It was simply a campaign paper. 

S. Cadwallader at one time published the Press. 

The Racine Independent was started in November, 1877, by 
Wentworth Brothers, who sold it to A. C. Arveson, after which 
it died in April, 1879. 

One of the earlier college papers published here was the 
College Mercury and it bore a good reputation. 

A i)ul)lication known as the Ladies' Reporter once existed 
in Racine for a short time. 

The Son of Temperance was started in January, 1877, by 

vol. 1 



NO. t - 

tl ^liAClNB, W. T..»E"u.VBal)- <.y^l KHmWRY 14. 1838. 

- '."T-^ „.. :Z^. , .. -...i. ^™^fo«.*™^^' ';;;^;'.;1L.,.^-Z-. .-*«fllK«-*2l 

-L-Tnl L'ti: iMiit Mr CMI )«< | 

6^ tJ U'utrtok 

»^ Alto. maJ bj« ■ r.1 ■ "^ ""«*>—"■ •"«'' "'•*'• '»™L, "_ '""*•-" , 

via i» uwuc«- o. 

"^^ .'"*■' ".^T 

• t lie >i> af Ibo^tKt. TL* uciud. 

u r.^ «Hr<« jm, II. a»7. 


Portion of front page of Number 1, Volume T, of first newspaper published in Racine. The px'oprietors 
were: J. M. Myers, Alfred Gary, Gilbert Knapp, Stephen N. Ives, Lorenzo Janes and Marshall M. Strong. 


William R. Bloonifield, who conducted it for one year and then 
sold (lilt to Levi K. Alden. The paper lived for two years, but 
financial non-support caused its demise. It was the official organ 
of the Sons of Temperance, an organization which was strong 
here at one time. 

The Daily Herald was started December 16, 1878, by Levi 
K. Alden & Company and ceased its career on April 24, 1879. 

The New Deal was started by Col. William L. Utley as an 
organ of the Greenback Party on June 1, 1878. 

The Dansk-Luttnrsk Kirke l^lad was started in August, 1877, 
by arrangements made with the Norwegian-Danish Conference. 
It was i)ul)lished by the Danish pastors of the society and edited 
by A. M. Anderson, pastor of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lu- 
theran Congregation of Racine. 

The Racine Agriculturist, edited by A. C. Fish and published 
by George S. Bliss, was a prominent early paper in Racine. 

About the year 1849 Dr. B. B. Cary began the publication 
of an eight-column weekly called the Democratic Union. He 
removed it to Milwaukee in 1850. The paper was printed by S. P. 
Rounds, who also published a temperance paper called the Old 
Oaken Bucket, which was edited by Rev. A. C. Barry and was 
the official organ of the Sons of Temperance of Wisconsin. It 
was printed in quarto form, with double sheets. 

The Commercial Advertiser, published first by Butterfield 
& Warren as an eight-colunni })ai)er and devoted to the intei-ests 
of the Whig Party. It was Ixiught in the fall of 1850 by Judge 
William R. Perry, who associated with him his son George. After 
the election of a Democratic President in 1852 the paper died, 
due to the cessation of political advertising from Washington. 

The Wisconsin Farmer was published by Mark Miller, but 
was afterward removed to Janesville. 

The Wisconsin Rode, published by Kohlmann Brothers in 
1850, existed for just one year and was, according to record, the 
first German paper in Racine. Then came the Racine Volksblatt, 
first published in 1855 by Mr. Erdmann, who was succeeded by 
Henry F. Hillgard, at which time the paper bore the name of 
A. Winter & Company as publishers. At this period Samuel 
Ritchie became interested in the paper and subsequently became 
its sole proprietor. About the same time the National Demokrat 
made its appearance, published by C. Lohmann, with whom M. 


Orahl was interested. It finally passed into the hands of Fred 
Krahe and Avent out of existence after one year. 

The Wisconsin Volksblatt, published by A. Winter, contin- 
ued for three months. In 1860 a paper called the Volksfreund 
was started and lasted until 18G3. The Omni))us, published by 
Henry Boini, was started in 1869 and stayed thii'teen months. 
There was also the Racine Post, which came out in 187G and was 
discontinued after nine months' life. 


The present Journal-News was started as the Journal in the 
spring of 1856 by Hulett & Harrison. A weekly paper was issued. 
Subsecpumtly the firm changed to J. A. Oarswell, Harrison & 
(\)m])any and for a time John Ilawkes conducted it. About 1861 
it passed into the hands of (Jharles Clement. During the Rebel- 
lion a daily issue was i)ul)lished for a time, but was disc(mtinued, 
as the conditi(ms of the tiuie were such that a daily could not 
pay its way. In the spring of 1862 Mr. Clement disposed of the 
pa])('r to Charles W. Fitch, who conducted it as a Democratic 
sheet for a few years, when it again reverted to Charles Clement, 
who changed the politics to Rei)ublican. At the close of the war 
Col. W. 1j. Utley and his son, Hamilton, bought the Journal and 
gave to the paper more character and quality than it ever had 
before. In December, 1873, Mr. F. W. Starbuck purchased the 
hair interest of Colonel Utley and with Hamilton Utley continued 
the ])ul)lication of the sheet, together with the job printing busi- 
ness. A year later Starbuck bought out the younger Utley also. 
Meanwhile the new firm had greatly increased the facilities of 
the ])lant, putting in new i)i'esses and steam power, and moving 
to the third fioor of the Manufacturers' Bank Building, having 
the business office on the second Hooi-. In 1883, owing to its in- 
creasing business, a lease was made with the owners of the Belle 
City Hall, giving them a fiooi' space of 110 feet by 80 feet. Here 
the business steadily increased and in 188(i the Journal was in- 
corporated under the name of The Joui'ual Printing Company. 

In January, 1881, the Daily Journal was stai'ted as a six- 
column, four-page paper. The plant was yet in the Manufactur- 
ers' Bank Building when this change was made. Th(^ growth 
from this time surpassed anything ex})ected, due in greater part 
to the excellent news service given to the public. The paper has 

HISTORY ()!• R.\( INK C'OUNTY 221 

maintained the Associated Press rejxjrts sinee the beginning. 

An opportunity was soon offered to })urcliase the present 
building and ground at 328 Main Street. This was done and on 
July 4, 1891. the removal was uiade. In 1895 a huge perfecting 
press was installed. 

The Journal started as a six-column, four-page paper, and 
subsequently an enlargement was made to eight-column, 24 
by 40. This sufficed for a while, then the length of the col- 
uuiH was iucreased two indies, making the sheet 26 by 40. 
I'he four-page paper was continued with eight columns imtil 
April, 1894, when a fui'thei- enlargement was made to an eight- 
])age. six-colunm paper, or twice the size of the original sheet. 
"When the Scott perfecting stereotyping press was put into the 
Journal office in the spring of 1895 the size of the press enabled 
a seven-colunm. eight-page paper to be printed. 

In 1911 the question of consolidating the Journal and the 
Racine News was brought up, and as a result the two sheets were 
combined, making the present Journal-New^s. The merger was 
effected in January, 1912, and the first issue run off the ])resses 
January 8th. The Journal-News maintains the same manage- 
ment and is a live, up-to-date publication, carrying associated 
])ress service and a h\\\ editorial and reportorial force for the 
local work. 


The Racine Daily Times was founded in the month of No- 
veml)er, 1883, by William L. Utley. In March, 1884, there came 
into existence a company known as the Times Publisliing Com- 
]tany, consisting mainly of ]\Ir. Utley and J. H. Willis, who had 
lately entered the business. Willis was business manager of the 
publication until his death in 1893, then his wife, Mrs. Olympia 
Brown, assumed the office. The paper was edited by W. L. Utley 
until his death in 1887 and then by Hamilton Utley until 1900. 

In 1900 the paper passed into the hands of W. L. Goodland 
and V. W. Lothrop, who conducted it until 1904. After this, 
or until IMarch 4, 1910, it was edited and owned Mr. Lothro]) 
alone. At the latter date a stock company was formed and the 
Times Publishing Company incoi-porated, with V. W. Lothrop 
as editor and manager. At this time the paper was independent 
in politics. 

In November, 1915, the Times was consolidated with the 


Racine Call, the latter a publication which had l)een started three 
years prior to this time and which was pul)lished by the Call 
Publisliing Company, a corporation. The first issue was placed 
before the people in the last week of November of the above men- 
tioned year. W. L. Haight was the first editor of the new com- 
bination and was recently succeeded l:)y W. I. Goodland, who had 
formerly been connected with the Times. 

The Times-Call plant is a modern one and the efforts of the 
force, editorial and mechanical, are centered upon the publication 
of the daily paper alone. No weekly issue or job printing is done 
,at this establishment. 


This paper was first issued at Racine, Wisconsin, January 1, 
1877, under the name of the Racine Agriculturist. An introduc- 
tory on the first page, signed by A. F. Sweetser, states that it is 
the object of. the proprietor to benefit the farmers of the county 
"as much as possible in inserting in its columns such articles as 
will be of special interest to them in their business and by offer- 
ing such suggestions as may lighten the labor of the farm." It 
is frankly stated that the colunnis of the paper would be largely 
devoted to advertising, but only such articles would be presented 
as were known and proved to be first-class. The proprietor said 
that, as he believed "that all work and no play was not conducive 
to the healthy inci-ease of the mental capacity of poor Jacob, 
such selections would at times be introduced as would provoke 
the good humor of all." Much of the advertising was that of Fish 
Brothers & Company, and that the paper was really owned by 
this firm was shown in the second issue, in which the heading 
contained a portrait of A. C. Fish and the name changed to The 
Racine Agriculturist. The original subscription price was fifty 
cents a year and the paper was issued monthly. The first num- 
ber contained eight pages of 9 by 14 inches of type matter each. 
It had articles on fresh American beef in Europe, on the profit- 
ableness of farming, a story and some humorous matter, but not 
much of real agricTiltural value. The second issue, however, 
showed considerable imi^rovement and contained an interesting 
communication from Prof. C. D. Granger of the Wisconsin State 
University, besides some creditable agricultural and live stock 
matter. In the issue of September, 1878, the name of George 




S. Bliss appears as publisher and that of A. C. Fish as editor. 
Considerable improvement had been shown by this time. The 
leading article told of numerous emphatic signs that farming in 
this country, especially in the great West, was taking a new 
departure. In the future grain was to be gro'WTi, even by the 
average farmer, more with a view to raising stock and the pro- 
duce of stock. The fann, it was stated, will be made the feeding 
ground of beef and mutton. The editor said: "We are conjuring 
no illusion; we are stating the undeniable fact." This issue also 
shows that the ])aper now contained twice as many pages as the 
first issue, each issue having sixteen instead of eight, as formerly. 

In July, 1883, the Agriculturist was purchased by the pub- 
lishers of the Racine Manufacturer, a monthly which had been 
established in January of that year. The two papers were there- 
fore issued as one publication under the name of The Racine 
Manufacturer and Agriculturist by the Manufacturers' Publish- 
ing Company. Andrew Simonson was the editor. In 1885 the 
name of Manufacturer was dropjDed and the paper became the 
Racine Agricidturist, only to be changed again in May, 1886, 
to the Racine Wisconsin Agricidturist. 

In January, 1890, the publication was changed from monthly 
to a semi-monthly, the subscription price remaining the same — 
fifty cents a year. It was now published by the WiscoUvSin Agri- 
culturist Publishing Company, a corj^oration organized for the 
pui-])ose of increasing the scope and usefulness of the paper, 
which had by this time become considerable. On February 1, 
1892, it assumed its present name. The Wisconsin Agriculturist, 
by dropping the word Racine from the heading. 

On January 1, 1897, the paper became a weekly and the next 
year the subscription price was increased to sixty cents a year. 
On January 1, 1907, it was advanced to seventy -five cents a year. 
In 1902 The Wisconsin Agriculturist absorbed the Fann, Field 
and Stockman of Winona, Minnesota, and in 1906 it took over the 
Fanners' Sentinel, which made it the only English general farm- 
ing paper being published in the State of Wisconsin. 

The Wisconsin Agriculturist is now, as it has been for many 
years, owned by the Wisconsin Agiiculturist Publishing Com- 
})any. Andrew Simonson, w^ho had been connected with the pub- 
lication in various capacities since 1883, was the ])ublisher mitil 
his death on June 6, 1907. At this time his son, Arthur W. Simon- 


son, took cliart^c, and Chark's 11. lilviTett has been the editor-in- 
chief for the last fifteen years. The pajier's weekly circnlation 
of 65,000 copies is practically all in the State of Wisconsin. The 
paper bears the reputation of being one of the best, if not the 
loading, pa]ier of its kind in the United States and is one of the 
most iniijortant teaching factors and guides to which the farmer 
and stockman of today has access. 


The Folkets Avis Publishing Company was tirst established 
in the year 187G, but after running a short time abandoned the 
publication of the pajx'i'. The company was reorganized, how- 
ever, in 1905, with a capital stock of $6,000.00, and the issue of 
the paper started again. Hans Olscn was the editor and manager 
of the paper when it was revived. 


The Racine Correspondent was founded in 1883 by W. F. 
Weber and conducted by him until the year 1886. Charles Schar- 
pano managed the issue during the next year, and then came 
A. T. Falb from 1889 until 1894, in connection with his son in 
1889. Emil Wittsock conducted the sheet from 1895 until 1899, 
and was succeeded by Henry Bonn in the latter year. Mr. Bonn 
continues the publication at this time. It is a weekly newspaper, 
devoted to the interests of the German population. 


The ])a])er known as the Nordcn was founded in January, 
190.3, by P. B. Nelson, F. L. Norton and Ivar Kirkegaard, in a 
com])any called The Norden Publishing Com])any. The first issue 
was in June, 1903. The pa])er was edited and owned by Ivar 
Kirkegaai'd after November, 1907. 


This pajter was started in the Town of Burlington in Octo- 
ber. 1863, by L. E. Smith and named the Burlington Standard. 
The i>resent name was assumed after March, 1886. L. E. Smith 
was the ])ublisher and edit(n- from 1863 until 1866 and was suc- 
ceeded by Henry L. Devereux, August, 1866- June, 1883, in con- 
nection with J. (i. Hamlin from October, 1874, until December, 
1875. Michael Wagner held the editorial reins during the years 


188:5-6; JaiiK-s 1. Tones, 1886-9, and 11. E. Zimniermau from 1889 
until the present, the firm, however, becoming that of Zimmer- 
man & Son in 1912. 


The Free Press was founded in November, 1879, and was 
conducted by W. A. Colby until December, 1891; then by William 
R. Devor. The paper is Republican in politics and is issued 


This now extinct paper was established in Burlington in 
May, 1859, by H. W. Phelps and was suspended in December, 
IcSGO. and removed to Horicon. 


The Waterford Post was founded in November, 1877, by 
C. M. AVhitman and conducted by him until September, 1880. 
Then came Edward ^lalone in the management of the business 
and he continued until January, 1907, when the firm of Malone 
& Miller started. The Post is issued to the people weekly. 


The Union (Irove Enterprise was established in the year 
1887 by A. P. Colby. 





Although Racine County now has an unquestionable reputa- 
tion in the matter of public credit, and her bonds, when she has 
occasion to issue any, command a premium in the market, such 
was not always the case. As narrated in a fonner chapter, when 
Nathan Joy and Michael Myers went east in the fall of 1838 to 
borrow $50,000 upon the claims and unprovements of the settlers, 
to enable them to purchase their lands, eastern capitalists refused 
to loan a single dollar "upon any or all the lands in the County 
of Racine." However, the postponement of the land sale from 
November, 1838, to March, 1839, gave the settlers an opportunity 
to raise the needed funds to purchase their lands and perfect 
their titles. Then the development of the natural resources 
began in earnest. This development, with the corresponding in- 
crease in wealth, was reflected upon the public financial status, 
with the result that Racine County's credit is now unsurpassed 
by that of any county in the state. 

Another thing that has contributed to the county's present 
financial standing is the fact that her credit has never been 
abused by wanton extravagance. Bonds have been issued from 
time to time, but they have always been issued for permanent 
improvements and have been paid when they fell due. At the 
beginning of the year 1916, the only county bonds outstanding 
were $65,000 of the bonds issued some years ago for the building 
of the county insane asylum at Gatliif, and ample provisions have 
been made for their redemption as they mature. According to 
the last published report of the county treasurer, these bonds 
and a floating debt of $2,936.69 constitute the entire indebtedness 


of the euuuty. The same report shows the general financial con- 
dition of the county to be as follows: 

Balance on hand November 1, 1914 $103,255.48 

Receipts during the year 445,024.66 

Total income $548,280.14 

Disbursements 508,108.75 

Balance on hand November 1, 1915 $ 40,171.39 

Owing to the repairs on the court-house and the purchase 
of some additional land for the insane asylum fami, the disburse- 
ments for the year were heavier than usual. The principal appro- 
priations made by the Board of Supervisors were: 

Court-house repairs and furniture $ 22,639.81 

State highway aid 25,619.25 

Land for the insane asylum 17,000.00 

Land and support, agricultural school 12,800.00 

Bridges and highways 14,800.00 

Maintenance, insane asylum 7,800.00 

County farm 4,000.00 

Motor truck (for use on highways) 5,000.00 

Bonds redeemed 6,500.00 

Interest on public debt 2,686.43 

Sunnv Rest Sanatorium 3,500.00 

Soldiers' relief 3,500.00 

Aggregate of twelve principal items. . . .$125,844.49 

The remainder of the disbursements was for the salaries of 
county officers and their clerks, court expenses, the maintenance 
of industi'ial schools and Home for Feeble-Minded, supervision 
of the poor and sundry miscellaneous expenditures. It is a far 
cry from 1839, when the total income of the county was less than 
three thousan'd dollars, to 1915, when the income was over half 
a million, but the figures tell the story of Racine County's won- 
drous advancement in the industrial and financial world. 


, To some it ma}' seem strange that the bonded indebtedness 
of the City of Racine is nearly fifteen times greater than that of 
the county in which it is situated. But it nuist ])c borne in mind 
that the incorporated city has many demands upon its revenues 
that are unknown to the small villages and the rural districts. 
Fire and police departments must be maintained for the protec- 
tion of person and property; the former must be equipped with 


costly apparatus for extinguishing tires and buildings in which 
such apparatus can be kept; conservation of the public health 
requires a sewer system; streets must be improved; school build- 
ings erected, and in the modern city public parks are regarded 
as a necessity. All these, and many other things, must hv provided 
at pu])lic expense. There is probably not a city of 4( ),()()() pop\i- 
lation in the United States whose income is sufficient to meet 
all these demands, and the easiest way to provide them is t 
mortgage the future l)y the issue of bonds. According to the 
statement of the city clerk, the bonds outstanding on January 1, 
1916, consisted of the followin 


"(^ ■ 

School bonds $321,000 

Street improvement bonds 168,000 

Paving bonds 34,000 

Sewer bonds 168,000 

Refunding bonds 82,000 

Garbage incinerator 28,000 

Bridge bonds 44,000 

Park bonds 47,000 

For lake shore protection 16,000 

Cemetery bonds 16,000 

Fire apparatus 16,000 

Total $940,000 

Under the laws of Wisconsin, a city can issue bonds equal 
to 5 per cent of the assessed valuation of the property. In 1915 
the property of Racine was valued at $55,770,026. Five per cent 
of this is $2,788,501.30, which represents the amoimt of bonds 
the City of Racine could legally issue. As only $940,000 of bonds 
were outstanding at the beginning of the year 1916, the city has 
an unused debt-incurring power of $1,848,501.30, so it may be 
seen that the city government has not been extravagant in the 
matter of bond issues. 

When the city was incorporated in 1848, the village govern- 
ment turned over the following balances: 

Harbor fund $ 314.42 

General fund 98.53 

Special fund 771.46 

Total $1,184.41 

A report of the financial transactions for 1848 showed the 
amount of special tax collected to be $562.31; corporation tax, 
$585.64; tax certificates on hand, $1,006.78V2; paid out on harbor 


orders during the year, $965.61. The last published report of 
the city treasurer (for the year ending on December 31, 1914), 
shows the total receipts for the year as $1,491,258.69, which in- 
cluded a balance of $78,393.57 from the preceding year and 
$282,000 as the proceeds of a bond issue. The disbursements 
amounted to $1,316,884.27, leaving a balance in the treasury on 
January 1, 1915, of $174,374.42. Compare these figures with 
those of 1848 and some idea of Racine's progress may be gained. 
The principal items of expense for the year 1914 were as follows: 

General government $ 50,456.29 

Public safety 100.486.63 

Health and sanitation 36,254.22 

Streets and bridges 53,605.48 

Charities 19,023.39 

Education 236,883.59 

Recreation 16,7.52.05 

County tax 125,494.51 

State tax 108,001.70 

Total $746,957.86 

The remaining $569,926.41 of the disbursements included 
interest on the bonded debt, redemption of bonds, appropriations 
to the public library, improvement of the public parks, care of 
the cemeteries and divers miscellaneous expenses. 


In addition to the $940,000 of city bonds and the $65,000 of 
county bonds outstanding on January 1, 1916, the City of Bur- 
lington, the incorporated villages and the several townships also 
had some outstanding bonds. The exact amount of these bonds 
<'ouId nt)t be ascertained, but it is approximately $100,000, making 
a total bonded indebtedness of the county and its corporations 
of a little over $1,100,000. As the entire property of the county 
is liable for the payment of these obligations, and the assessed 
value in 1915 was $90,334,138, it can be clearly seen that the 
holders of the bonds have a lien upon ninety dollars of collateral 
for each dollar of debt. Surely no better security could be asked. 
And if the actual value of the property be taken into considera- 
tion, the proportion is still greater. Under these circumstances 
it is not surprising that the bonds of Racine Coimty and city 
are regarded as "gilt-edged" investments. 

Photo furnished by liillinu^ AFTER THE HK; SN(J\V I-KHRMAKY l',. isns 

I'hoto furnished by BilliriKs 

An early I'olnnia! residence 



Banking, in some form or another, is almost as old as civiliza- 
tion. Explorers among the ruins of ancient Assyria have found 
evidences that the money lender existed there and that something 
like the modern bill of exchange was issued by them. In Greece 
and Rome, several hundred years before the beginning of the 
Christian era, there were bankers who received money on deposit 
and made loans. The earliest public bank of which history takes 
note was the Bank of Venice, which was established in 1171 and 
continued until the dissolution of the Venetian Republic in 1797. 
Deposits in this bank were guaranteed by the government. 

Modem banking ideas were first used by the Bank of Flor- 
ence in the Thirteenth Century. Loans were made by this insti- 
tution to the Italian Government and it carried on a regular loan 
and discount business. The Bank of St. George at Genoa was 
also a great financial institution in the latter part of the Thir- 
teenth and early part of the Fourteenth Centuries. 

In 1609 the Bank of Amsterdam was established under the 
guarantee of the city. It was called into existence by the fluctua- 
tion and uncertain values of the currency then in circulation and 
its chief function was to give a fixed value to any bill on Amster- 
dam. Worn coins were accepted by the bank at their face value, 
less a small charge for recoinage. For many years this bank 
was one of the great financial concerns of the world. Then it 
fell into the hands of speculators, who exploited its resources to 
such an extent that it collapsed in 1790. 

The first public bank in Great Britain was chartered in 1694. 
It was the outgrowth of a company organized under an act of 
Parliament to float a loan of £1,500,000 to carry on the war with 
France. "William Patterson came forward with the proposition 
to organize a bank with power to issue notes and the result was 
the Bank of England, which is now one of the greatest financial 
institutions in the world. The Bank of Scotland was organized 
about a year later. 

Banks of issue have played a more conspicvious part in the 
United States of America than in any other country. During 
the colonial period there were a number of banks established 
with power to issue notes to individuals. They were not banks 
of deposit. After the Revolution the Bank of New York and 
the Bank of Massachusetts were both chartered in 1784 and 


issued hills until tlie aduptiun of the Federal Constitution, which 
provided (Article I, Section 10), that " no state shall coin money, 
emit bills of credit," etc. The stoppage of state bank circulation 
by the Constitution caused a clamor among- the people and on 
February 25, 1791, the first Bank of the United States was char- 
tered by act of Congress for a period of twenty years. Its author- 
ized capital stock was $10,000,000, of which the Government took 
twenty per cent. 

It was soon discovered that one institution could not well 
transact the banking business of the entire country. To over- 
come this difficulty Congress passed an act authorizing the estab- 
lishment of state banks with power to issue notes that should 
pass current as money. When the charter of the Bank of the 
United States expired by limitation in 1811, these state banks 
were opposed to granting it a new one. The Covernment having 
disposed of its interest in the bank, hearkened to the plea of the 
state banks and denied the national bank a new charter. During 
the next five 3^ears the number of state banks multiplied. 

On April 3. 1816, the second Bank of the United States was 
authorized by an act of Congress, with a capital stock of $35,000,- 
000, and again the Federal Government took tw^enty per cent 
of the stock. In 1830 there were 246 state banks, with an aggre- 
gate caiiital of $145,000,000. In July. 1832, President Jackson 
vetoed the bill granting a new charter to the Bank of the United 
States and instructed the secretary of the treasury to order all 
deposits in the bank to cease. This the secretary refused to do, 
when Jackson removed him and appointed another who woidd 
carry out his instructions. This was the end of the Bank of 
the United States. 

Then followed the famous era of "wild-cat hanking." dur- 
ing which th(> Territory of Wisconsin and Racine County were 
organized. At the Ix'ginning of 1837 there were 788 banks in the 
country with an authorized ca])ital of $291,000,000, less than 
half of which was actually paid in. During the year 1836 specu- 
lation ran rife and many of these banks made loans upon qiies- 
tionable collateral. The result was the \nuuc of 1837, which 
forced many of the hanks to close their doors. In their failure 
banks otherwise solvent were dragged down to ruin. For a few 
years bankers heeded the lesson taught by the crash, the number 
of banks was reduced and loans were made upon a more conserv- 


ative basis. But after a tinic auotlu'r ei'a of speculation eanic 
and was followed hy the panic of 1857. 

In 1862, while the Civil War was in progress, Congress passed 
a national banking law and at the same time decreed that issues 
of notes by state banks should cease. Since that time the only 
l)aper currency in this country has been issued by the national 
banks, or by the Government itself, in the forai of gold or silver 
certificates or ti-casury notes. 


The Racine Argus .)f March 1(1, 1838, says: "Our Legisla- 
ture at its last session passed a law incorporating a bank here 
with a capital of $200,000." That is the first mention to be found 
of a bank in Racine County, but it Avas never established. It is 
said the project failed l)ecause the great panic of the year before 
had rendered the peojyle cautious about making investments and 
the stock could not be sold. 

In ]\rark Miller's City Directory of 1850 apj^ears the advei-- 
tisement of an "Exchange, Banking and Collection Office" by 
the firm of McCrea, BellcS; Ullman, located at 152 jMain Street. 
The firm was composed of Augustus L. McCrea, William J. Bell 
and Henry J. Ullman, none of whose names appear in the direc- 
tory. Isaac J. Ullman is given as a merchant and James Ullman 
as a clerk, both in business at 154 Main Street. In the adver- 
tisement the firm gives as references banking firms in Boston, 
New York and Philadelphia and announces "Sight drafts on New 
York, Boston and Philadelphia at one per cent premium." 

On February 1, 1853, the Bank of Racine was incorporated 
l)y act of the Legislature and succeeded to the business estab- 
lished by McCrea, Bell & Ullman. The authorized capital stock 
was $50,000 and the following were the first officers: Henry J. 
Ullman, president; Daniel Ullman, cashier. These two officers, 
with George H. Carpenter, William W. Vaughan, Ernest Hnetf- 
nei', Marshall M. Strong and S. C. Tuckerman, constituted the 
first board of directors. 

In 1859 the private banking house of Byron B. Northrop & 
Co. was opened. On March 16, 1871, it was consolidated with 
the Bank of Racine to fonn the Manufacturers National Bank, 
which on that date was granted a charter by the comptroller of 
the currency. Four days later the new bank opened in the old 


Baker House (now the Merchants Hotel), on the east side of 
Main Street between Fourth and Fifth. On November 20, 1872, 
the l)ank leased the building at the northwest corner of Main 
and Fifth Streets of Vaughan & Williams, and in 1876 purchased 
the property. The first officers of the Manufacturers National, 
when it was organized in 1871, were: J. I. Case, president; E. J. 
Hueffner, vice president; Byron B. Northrop, cashier. On the 
board of directors were William C Allen, Robert H. Baker, 
Lucius S. Blake, Henry T. Fuller, Edward McEnery, Thomas D. 
Pitts, James R. Slauson, John Yaughan, Henry J. Ullman and 
the officers above named. Mr. Case continued as pi-esident until 
1891, when he was succeeded by M. B. Erskine. 

The original capital stock of the Manufacturers National 
Bank was $100,000, which has since been increased to $300,000. 
A statement issued by the bank at the close of business on March 
7, 1916, shows a capital stock of $300,000, surplus and undivided 
profits of $258,194, and deposits of $2,928,778.03. The officers 
of the bank at that time were as follows: Otis W. Johnson, presi- 
dent; David H. Flett and William Van Arsdale, vice presidents; 
E. W. Ra])ps, cashier; M. E. Erskine, assistant cashier. 

The Racine Comity Bank was incorporated in Jamiary, 1854, 
with a capital stock of $200,000; Reuben M. Norton, president; 
Curtis Mann, vice president; George C. Northrop, cashier. Be- 
sides these officers, the board of directors was composed of John 
W. Cary, Nicholas D. Fi-att. Horatio B. Munroe, John Thomp- 
son and L. W. Munroe. It began business on the corner of Fourth 
and Main Streets. 

On May 16, 1864, the stockholders of the Racine County Bank 
voted to liquidate and reorganize undei- the national banking 
laws. It was therefore reorganized as the First National Bank, 
with the charter munber 457, and is therefore the oldest national 
bank in the county. The first board of directors was composed 
of John Thompson, John G. Conroe, Nelson Pendleton, W. H. 
Lathrop, Darwin Andrews, Nicholas D. Fratt, William W. 
A^aughan, W. II. Baker and Horatio B. Miuu-oe. During the fifty- 
two years of its existence as a national bank the First National 
has had but two presidents and four cashiers. Nicholas D. Fratt 
was elected president in 1864 and served until 1909, when he 
resigned and went to California, where his death occurred on 
November 17, 1910. He was succeeded by Frank L. Mitchell, 


who still holds the ixisition. Darwin Andrews was cashier from 
1864 until his death in 1877. Horatio B. Munroe was then cashier 
until his death in June, 1892, when George N. Pratt was elected. 
In 1915 he was elected one of the vice presidents and A. F. Erick- 
son was made cashier. 

The original capital stock of the First National Bank was 
$100,000. On November 5, .1892, it was increased to $150,()()0 and 
in 1909 to $200,000 by a stock dividend of 33 1/3 per cent. From 
1864 to 1880 the bank was located in the (juarters formerly occu- 
pied by the Racine County Bank at the corner of Fourth and 
Main Streets. Tn 1880 it removed to a new building just south 
of the court house, facing east on Monument Square, and in 1913 
this building was torn down to make way for the present hand- 
some and commodious structure, into which the bank moved on 
August 1, 1914. 

A statement issued by the First National on May 1, 1916, 
gives the capital stock as $200,000; surplus and undivided profits, 
$198,066; deposits, $3,847,053.02. The officers of the bank then 
were: Frank L. Mitchell, president; George N. Fratt and David 
G. Janes, vice presidents; A. F. Erickson, cashier; E. D. Koster- 
man and B. R. Jones, assistant cashiers. 

The City Bank of Racine was incorporated in January, 1854, 
with a capital stock of $50,000. Alexander McClurg was presi- 
dent and James J. Ullman cashier. These two officers, with 
William McConihe, constituted the board of directors. For a 
time the bank was located at No. 151 Main Street, but later 
moved into a new building on the corner of Main and Third 
Streets. After several years of fairly successful business the 
bank wound up its affairs and closed its doors. 

In Decembei', 1856, the Conunercial Bank of Racine was in- 
corporated with Henry S. Durand, president; J. W. Moore, cash- 
ier; William C. Allen, George Wilkinson and Gordon Chapman, 
with the president and cashier, composed the first board of direc- 
tors. The authorized capital stock of this bank was $100,000. It 
was located at No. 180 Main Street, but has long been out of 
existence, having liquidated its business and closed. William 
C. Allen was afterward one of the directors of the Manufacturers 
National Bank. 

The Union National Bank of Racine was incorporated under 
the national banking laws in 1881, with a capital stock of $100,000, 


whicli was subse(|U('iitly iiicrcased'to $150,000. Ainon^- the local 
(capitalists interested in this l)ank were O. \V. Johnson, now presi- 
dent of the Mannfaeturers National; Frank K. Bnll, of the J. I. 
Case Threshing Machine Company; H. E. Redman, of the Mitchell- 
Ijewis Wagon Company, and A. P. Starr, who was at one time 
cashier. In 1900 the entire interests, good will and fixtures of 
this hank were sold to the First National Bank. 

In 1892 the' Commercial and Savings Bank of Racine was 
organized mider the state laws, with a capital stock of $100,000, 
and the following officers: L. S. Blake, president; Charles R. 
Carpenter, cashiei-. Eight years later the bank rejiorted resources 
of nearly $1,000,000 and deposits of $803,298. A handsome three- 
story building was erected on the northeast corner of Fifth and 
Main Streets and the bank continued to wear an air of prosperity 
until S<'])teinbei' 17, 1914, when adverse circumstances compelled 
it to close its doors. The state banking department sent a man 
to wi)i<l u]) its affairs and he was still in charge on July 1, 191G. 

The K*acine City Bank, located at Racine Junction, was or- 
ganized in 1907. It has a capital stock of $;■)(),( )()(), surplus and 
undivided pi-<itits of $16,000, and deposits of $430,000, accordhig 
to the Bankei\s' Directory of March, 1916. W. C (Jittings is presi- 
dent; F. W. G until er, vice president; and H. H. Bacon, cashier. 

The P"'armers and Merchants Bank was organized in 1915. 
Its capital stock is $50,000, and in March, 1916, it reported a sur- 
plus of $5,000 and deposits of $50,000. John Wiechers is presi- 
dent; L. J. Breylinger, vice president; and H. A. Diestler, cashier. 

At this writing (July 1, 1916,) two new banks are in process 
of organization in the City of Racine. They are the American 
National and the American Trades and Savings banks. Arrange- 
ments have been made for the latter to occupy the building for- 
merly occupied b}^ the Commercial and Savings Bank and to 
guai-uitee to the depositors of that institution the full amount 
of their deposits. 


Outside (J' the Cit\- of Racine there were six banks in the 
count}' on April 1, 191(5, to-wit: Two in Burlingtcm, two in Water- 
foi'd, one in ITnion (irove and one in Corliss. 

Tile tii'st rural baidv in the <'ounty was the Peo})le's State 
Savings Hank at Burlington, which was organized about 1870 
with an authorized capital stock of $50,000, of which only $15,000 


was ()ai(l in. At'tci- a sdinewhat doubtful career for about six 
years John Reynolds was appointed a receiver to wind up its 

The Bank of Burlington began business in 1871 and is now 
one of the substantial tinancial concei-ns of the county. It occu- 
pies a handsome three-story stone building on the northeast cor- 
ner of Pine and Chestnut Streets, which was erected in 1909. In 
March, 1916, it reported a capital stock of $75,000; surplus and 
undivided profits, $25,000; deposits, $1,100,000. At that time 
C. R. McCanna was president; L. H. Rohr. vice president; (i. A. 
Uebele, cashier. 

Diagonally across Pine and Chestnut Streets from the Bank 
of Burlington is the JNleinhardt Bank, which was opened i:i 1891. 
It has a capital stock of $25,000, a surplus fund of $50,000. and 
deposits of $(J80,000. Albert Meinhardt is presideiit; Elisa Mein- 
liardt, vice president; Eda Meinhardt, cashier. 

The State Bank of Union Grove was organized in 1870, about 
the time the People's Bank of Burlington opened for business, 
but its history is quite different from that of its contenipoi'ary. 
For more than forty-five years it has been conducted along con- 
servative lines and it now is one of the best country banks in the 
county. The officers in March, 1916, were: J. E. Hamilton, presi- 
dent; C. E. Mueller, vice president; H. C. Wilke, cashier. The 
cai)ital stock is $35,000; the surplus and undivided profits, $8,000; 
and the deposits, $200,000. 

In 1903 the State Bank of Waterford commenced business 
with a capital stock of $10,000. In March, 1916, it reported a 
surplus fund of $6,500 and deposits amounting to $185,000. At 
that time John T. Rice was president; Kldward Malone, vice presi- 
dent; William Sanders, cashier. 

Noll's Bank, at Waterford, began business in 1907. It has 
a capital stock of $25,000, a surplus of $3,000, and deposits of 
$305,000. L. Noll is president; Charles H. Noll, \nce president, 
and Louis L. Noll, cashier. 

The Corliss State Bank, the youngest bank in the county, 
was organized in 1914 with a capital stock of $12,000; Henry 
Harmon, president; C. O. Frisbie, vice president; Louis Krad- 
well, cashier. The officers were the same on April 1, 1916, when 
the deposits amounted to $25,000. 

If bank deposits are an index to a community's prosperity, 


IvaciiK" ('(Aiiity has cause for connratulation. The total deposits 
of the l)anks amount to nearly $11,()()(),00U, or almost $200 for each 
man, woman and child, if the money could be so distributed. Not 
majiy counties can show a better average. 


The manufacturing industries and commercial interests are 
treated in another chapter of this work. But the business which 
represents the greatest investment of capital, produces the larg- 
est proportion of the wealth, and has contributed the most to the 
county's prosperity and financial standing, is that of agriculture. 
From the small clearing in the timber or the sod cornfield of the 
latter '30s, the agricultural interests have been developed until 
practically every acre of farm land has been brought under cul- 
tivation or is utilized for pasture. Resorting once more to sta- 
tistics to show the progress in this resjiect, the following tables 
have been compiled from the United States census reports for 


Acres Bushels 

Corn 28,489 1,114,944 

Oats 22,613 881,379 

Wheat 631 13,789 

Barley 5,157 ' 167,945 

Rye 878 16,788 

Potatoes 3,347 354,416 

Total 61,115 2,549,261 

The above table includes only the inincipal crops. There 
was a small crop of buckwheat raised, and upon the inunerous 
"truck" farms were produced large quantities of small fruits, 
vegetables, etc., that found a ready market in the cities of Racine, 
Milwaukee and Chicago. Of the Avheat crop, 122 acres were so^v^l 
to winter wheat and the remainder was of the spring wheat 


Acres Tons 

Timothy hay 17,867 24,316 

Timothy and clover 9,769 13,888 

Clover 1.255 2,011 

Alfalfa 1,467 4,418 

Wild grasses 9,794 11,640 

All other forage 5,509 14,523 

Total 45,661 80,796 


Of the severity-one counties in the state, Racine stood fif- 
teenth in the production of corn, thirty-sixth in oats, forty-third 
in barley, thirtieth in potatoes and thirty-third in hay, though its 
wheat crop was below the average. Upon the whole, area con- 
sidered, Racine has no cause for complaint over her showdng. 


Number Value 

Hogs 21,449 $ 189,722 

Cattle 27,992 941,730 

Horses 8,670 982,347 

Mules 26 2,830 

Sheep 9,856 39,031 

Poultry 154,310 89,884 

Total value $2,145,544 

Estimating the value of the field crojis, the products of the 
truck farms aod orchards, at the average prices that prevailed 
for the year, and including the value of live stock, dairy products, 
etc.. the farmers of Rar-ine county produced in 1910 in the neigh- 
borhood of $8,0UU,U0U, while the farm lauds, improvements and 
personal property represent a iDermanent investment of more 
than $30,000,000. According to the census report, the number 
of farms in the county in 1910 was 2,203. These were divided into 
classes as follows : 

Under 10 acres 122 

10 to 19 acres 178 

20 to 49 acres 416 

50 to 99 acres 671 

100 to 174 acres 573 

175 to 259 acres 186 

260 to 499 acres 53 

500 acres or over 4 

Total 2,203 

Of these famis 1,695 were operated l)y the owmers, 489 by 
tenants and 19 by managers. The total number of acres of farm 
land was 199,412, of which 147,369 acres were under cultivation 
and 52,043 acres were in woodland and pasture. With his large 
investment in Iniid, improvements, implements and machinery, 
and his industrial ar-tivity. the farmer is a factor that must be 
considered in any account of the financial progress of Racine 
County. A large portion of the bank deposits is held by the farm- 
ers. And the farmer of today is a different type of man from the 


farmer of 1835, when the first settlers came to Racine Comity. 
He no longer tills his land blindly as he did before the establish- 
ment of agricultural colleges and farmers' institutes, which have 
brought scientific information concerning agriculture to his very 
door. Highways have been improved, which gives him better 
access to the markets. The introduction of the telephone and 
the establishment of the rural mail route have brought him in 
closer touch with the outside world. He has his daily paper de- 
livered to him at his home. If he needs supplies he telephones 
his order and the parcels post does the rest. All these agencies 
working together have metamorphosed the farmer from the 
"rube" of former years into an educated man. The County of 
Racine has established an agricultural school and experimental 
farm for the farmers of the future, and district agricultural fairs 
are held in the rural schools throughout the county. Manufac- 
turing and banking concerns flourish largely because of the 
farmer's prosperity. He is a potentate because he feeds the 
world, and it is certain that for some years to come "com is king" 
in Racine County. 

l*hoto furnished liy Billin^^s 

Pioneer of Racine. 





Probably the first concern in Kacine which conld properly 
be called a manufacturinii; estal)lishinent was the saw mill at the 
Rapids, constructed by See & McKenzie in the year 1835. In the 
same year, also, Capt. Gilbert Knapp, the founder of Racine, and 
Barker & Hub})ard built another saw mill. In 1844 J. B. Wilson 
and C. C. Burgess established the pioneer foundry and in the fol- 
Idwing year Russell Skinner constructed a plant for iron work- 
ing. These manufactories would seem pitifully small were they 
to be viewed in comparison with the many concerns of mammoth 
pi'o]»ortions now operating in the city of Racine. They were suf- 
ticicntly large, however, for the care of the business of the day 
and were, no (l(iul)t. considered notable improvements eighty 
years ago. 

The increase in transportation facilities marked the inaugu- 
ratidu of great growth in manufacturing. When the settlers first 
came to the coiuitry now embraced in Racine County their com- 
modities and tlicii- materials for manufacturing had to be carried 
to the settlement either by stage, wagon or by })oat. The former 
metliod was very expensive and consequently a luxury which 
was uncommon. Schooners frequently stopped off the port of 


Racine, whore ]3assengors and diverse cargoes were unloaded 
upon yawls or "lighters" and drawn to the shore; the absence 
of a harbor in the early years prevented the ships i'nmi coming 
close to land. Lvunber was more often dumped into the water 
and floated to the shore. The coming of the railroad obviated 
many of these difficulties and prospective manufacturers, hitherto 
skeptical of the locality, were encouraged to come to Racine. 
Jerome I. Case, after building his first machine in a kitchen at 
Rochestei', Wisconsin, came to Racine and erected his first shop 
in 1849. The ^litchell & Lewis Comj^any, by the late Ilonry 
Mitchell, established a wagon factory in 1855; Fish Brothers' 
wagon factory was located here in 1862; Racine Woolen Mill in 
1865; S. Freeman & Sons Manufacturing Company in 1867; J. I. 
Case Plow Works in 1876; Racine Hardware Manufacturing 
Company in 1874, and the Racine Wagon & Carriage Comjiany 
in 1877; and so on, until at the present time there has been added 
factory after factory until the City of Racine ranks as one of the 
largest and most important manufacturing centers of the Middle 

The figures compiled by the Industrial Commission of Wis- 
consin, in co-ordination with the United States Census of 1910 
give some interesting statistics U])on the manufacturing in Racine. 
By this account there were 142 estalilishments in the city; capi- 
tal invested, $36,326,0()<).()0; cost of mat(>rials used, $11,512,000.00; 
salaries and wages, $7,169,000.00; miscellaneous expenses, $3,728,- 
000.00; value of product, $24,673,000.00; value added hy manu- 
facture (product less cost of materials), $13,161,000.00; number 
of salaried officials and clerks, 1,892; average number of wage 
earners employed during the year, 8,381. These figures represent 
an increase of 299^' from the year 1904 until 1910, and can be 
taken as a pi-oper ratio of the increase from 1910 until 191(5. 

The railroads which enter and leave the City of Racine oper- 
ate under their own management ncai'ly 15.000 miles of tracks, 
and by traffic arrangements with other roads i-each more than 
12.000 stations. Freight rates are on a par with other large 
cities of the Middle West. Switch tracks are laid in every ])art 
of the city and daily complete trains of manufactured goods, 
including Ihi'eshing machines, steam engines, wagons, plows, 
boilers, fanning mills, trunks, boats, launches and autcmiobiles 
are sent in everv dii'cction. Not only do the railroads care for 





these large shipments, but several steamship lines, operating on 
the Great Lakes, carry large cargoes to other markets and dis- 
ti'ibuting centers. 

In a list of manufactured articles compiled by the Racine 
Club are the following products which are made here in the city: 
Plows, shoes, boots, tents, tools, leathei-, art glass, automobiles, 
show cases, dental supplies, sash, doors, blinds, veneers, baskets, 
pulleys, pumps, tanks, hangars, blank books, agricultural imple- 
ments, automobile tops, tires, bodies, wheels, chasses, accessories, 
cushicms, cement building blocks, artificial stone, threshing ma- 
chines, rubber clothing, traveling bags, buggy tops, gravel roof- 
ing, cotton goods, paper boxes, steam launches, saddlery hard- 
wai'c, {dated goods, camp furniture, electrical goods, wood stain, 
wire works, metal stamped goods, rubber stamp»s, store and office 
fixtures, letter presses, alarms, vibrators, pop, beer, soap, cakes, 
rugs, flour, brick, shirts, skirts, trunks, cari)ets, boilers, engines, 
wagons, buggies, desks, seats, lumber, harness, tinware, patent 
medicine, malted milk, shirt waists, incubators, carriages, springs, 
axles, piano stools, duet benches, overalls, japanned ware, skeins, 
hardwood floors, brass goods, gray iron castings, wrought ii'on, 
malleable iron, bar iron, wind mills, separators, cigars, moiui- 
ments, ice cream, brooms, bits, snaps, anvils, jack screws, steel 
warehouse trucks, trucks, steel wagon hardware, brooders, bank 
and church fixtures, harrows, cultivators, fajming mills, corn 
harvesters, haying tools, whififletrees, neck yoke irons, hand coi'n 
planters, feed cutters, seed sowers, hay loaders, parquetry floors, 
floor stain, hat pins, curry combs, steel shoes, third seats, pencil 
sharpeners, floor cleaners, health coffee, potato planters, potato 
diggers, road rollers, hay balers, hay knives, coat hangers, gas 
engine castings, motorcycle cylinders, automobile engine cylin- 
ders, crank cases, and puttyless windows. It is probable that 
many other commodities could be added to this already imposing 
list, but the above is sufficient to give the reader an idea of the 
varied and important articles manufactured in Racine. 

J. Sewell Mather, in the booklet called "Greater Racine," 
comments: "Cities are like men. They are either strong, weak 
or indiffei'ent. They will either manifest constructive ability 
with varying degrees of success or else lead a shiftless or inactive 
existence. They will either round out their own possibilities, or 
else drift with the stream of time. Just as men mav be endowed 


with physical stroiiutli and intellectual gifts, so cities may be 
.surroniided with natural advantages. Just as men may bring 
their gifts of mind to the highest plane of useful activity, so 
cities may realize their advantages in the largest possible man- 
ner. The character and importance of a city can, in a large meas- 
ure, be judged by the good streets, handsome business blocks, 
large factdi'ies. tine churches, well eciuipped school houses, and 
comfortable homes which it possesses. In these exterior mani- 
festations, the discei'ning stranger \\ill read the progress of the 
l)eople — their enterprise, energy and industry. Racine de- 
sei'ves to be designated as a metropolis of the progressive type. 
Its people have availed themselves of the natural advantages 
with which the city is so richly endowed and have built a large, 
thrifty and metropolitan city." 


Jerome I. Case, the founder of this company, was one of the 
pinmH'r settlers of Racine (\)unty. He was l)orn December 11, 
1818, in Williamstown, Oswego Comity, New York, of English 
parentage. In the spring of 1842 he purchased six small thresh- 
ing machines cm credit and brought them to the West, lie dis- 
posed of five of his machines and ke])t one for his own purposes 
and (Minvenience. In the spring of 1843 he found that his machine 
was becoming worn out and he set to work to reconstruct it, 
emliodying in the woi'k some of his own ideas as to its improve- 
ment. His finished product proved to be better than he could 
purchase in the East. Thus he laid the foundations for the larg- 
est manufacturing concern of its kind in the world. It is told 
that he made his first model in a kitchen at Rochester, Wiscon- 
sin. Shortly afterward Mr. Case occupied a small shop in the 
Village of Racine and undertook the manufacture of a limited 
mnnber of his machines. His business constantly grew and in 
1849 he erected his first shop, near the site of the present factory. 
It was a biick building, in dimensions 30 by 80 feet and three 
stories in height. He continued to build up the trade and to make 
nioi'c machines initil 18G3, when the increased size of his estab- 
lishment warranted the organization of the J. I. Case & Company, 
fonning a partnership with Messrs. Stephen Bull, R. H. Baker 
and i\I. B. Erskine. From that time forward the trade steadily 
expanded. "The year 1897 proved to be the beginning of a new 






epoch in the history of the eompany. The process of develop- 
iiieiit was gradual, keeping pace with tlie world's onward march 
of i)rogress. In 1880 the copartnership organized in 1803 was dis- 
solved, the name being changed to the J. 1. Case Threshing Ma- 
chine Company and was so incorporated. In 1897, to meet mod- 
ern conditions, an entire change in the management of the com- 
pany was effected, yonnger men, many of whom had been trained 
for years in the modern school of business, assuming active 
coiiti'ol of the management of its aifairs. The wisdom and wise 
l)usiness policy of the new management, who assumed control at 
this time, is evidenced by the fact that in the nine years prior to 
liiOG (when the article was written) the output of the Case product 
had exceeded the combined output of more than half a century 
I»rior to that time." 

Along with the development of the concern many new types 
of machines have been invented, including the Case traction 
engine, while the improvements made iipon the Case threshing 
machine result in threshing out the grain at the rate of from 
4.000 to 6,000 bushels per day, which machine not only gets all 
the grain, but weighs, measures and places it in wagons. The 
time required for the sowing, reaping and threshing of a bushel 
of wheat had declined from thirty-two to two minutes. 

The factory at Racine covers about sixty acres of ground, 
and more space is constantly being acquired and new buildings 
constructed. The administration building was begun in 1902 
and finished in 1904, the cost, including equipment, being about 

The officers of the company in 1916 are: Frank K. Bull, 
chairman of the board; Warren J, Davis, president and treas- 
urer; E. J. Gittins, vice-president; M. H. Pettit, vice-president: 
William F. Sawyer, secretary; Stephen Bull, assistant secretary; 
C. J. Farney, assistant treasiirer; R. P. Howell, assistant treas- 
urer. The directors, all elected to serve one year, are: Frank 
K. Bull, Warren J. Davis, E. J. Gittins, Stephen Bull, Francis 
E. Hine, M. H. Pettit, A. O. Choate, W. E. Black, Frederick Rob- 
inson, William F. Sawyer and C. J. Farney. The company has 
a general sales manager and four district sales managers, whose 
headquarters are at the general offices in Racine. It has eighty 
branch houses, all under the direct management of the home 
office, sixty-six in the United States, scattered over thirtv states. 


seven in Canada, one in Mexico, four in South America, and two 
in Europe, where the products of the company are on exliibition 
and where it carries a stock for quick delivery, repair parts, 
extras and supplies, the branch house managers being on salary 
and giving their entire time and attention to the business. Each 
year the general representatives of the company meet at the 
home office for a conference. This meeting sup]dies the oppor- 
tunity for a thorougii discussion of the business methods to be 
employed in the business and advice is given to the many travel- 
ing salesmen in the various territories. Fully 6,000 agencies are 
handled by this remarkable system. 

The company sells and manufactures all-steel grain-thresh- 
ing machines for threshing wheat, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, 
clover, rice, seeds, etc.; steam traction engines from 30 to 130 
horsepower, farm steam engines, gas tractors, steam road rollers, 
rock crushers, ensilage cutters, farm gas engines, steam-lift gang 
plows, road sprinklers and automobiles. The company also sells 
road rooters, dump wagons, spreading machines, road graders, 
corn shellers and wheelbarrows. This company is the only organ- 
ization in the entire world manufacturing all-steel threshers. Its 
gas tractor has already assumed the same connnanding i^osition 
among its competitors which has ))een occupied l)y the Case steam 
tractor for so many years. At a recent poAver plowing contest 
ill connection with the exposition at Winnipeg the Case steam 
and gas tractors won nine out a possible ten gold medals against 
all competitors, the steam tractor scoring the highest number of 
points in all classes. Its limited line of automobiles has been 
profitable to the company and is a valuable addition to its gen 
cral lines. 

All the property and assets of the business are owned directly 
by the company; it has no subsidiary companies, except the Com- 
pagnie Case de France. The book value of the company's real 
estate, buildings, machinery, equipment, rolling stock, furniture, 
etc., is $9,680,1 68.00, based on an appraisement of Racine prop- 
erties made in 1907 by Coats & Rurchard, appraisers, of Chicago. 
The book value of its patents, designs, devices, etc., is $1,026,- 
118.29, as of December 31, 1913. The main plant at Racine is 
situated on navigable water, having the advantage of both rail 
and lake transportation of raw materials and the distribution of 
finished products. The main ]>lant occupies about forty acres of 


ji^i'oimd and has more than forty acros of floor space; it is well 
equipped and modern in every way. It has an annual capacity 
of 4,000 to 4,500 threshers, 2,500 steam engines, 200 road rollers, 
2,000 gas tractors, 300 com shredders, 500 hay balers, and 1,100 
road making machines. The company owns, in addition to the 
main plant, a tract of land comprising 100 acres just outside the 
City of Racine, upon which during 1912 and 1913 additional 
buildings have been constructed. The branch house properties 
have an appraised value of about $2,600,000.00. During the year 
1913 a total of $1,923,000.00 was spent toward the erection of 
the new plant above mentioned and in additions and improve- 
ments to the main works and motor works. 

For the purpose of testing chemically all the raw materials 
which enter the Case plant the chemical and physical laboratoiy 
was installed some years ago. The following materials are tested 
chemically: Pig iron, steel, copper, zinc, lead, paints, oils, tin, 
aluminum, babbitt metal, coal, coke, clay, asbestos, etc. A sat- 
isfactory test on various materials can only be obtained by means 
of a physical test, and in such case the chemical test is not used. 
Leather belting is an example of this, where the physical test 
shows the tensile strength of not less than 700 pounds per inch 
of width, which is all that is necessary. In the physical test are 
machines for testing breaking strain, shrinkage, chill and frac- 
ture of cast iron and steel; also for determining the tensile 
strength of wire, leather, twine, paper, cotton duck and cloth. 
Babbitt and other bearing metals are tested on a friction machine, 
which records the friction, rise of tem]>(M-ature or heating jires- 
sure, wear, revolutions and distance traveled. There are other 
appliances for testing the hardness of steel, cast iron and brass. 

The total number of the company's employes nnis from 3,000 
to 4,000. An Employes' Benefit Association was organized on 
January 1, 1909, the membership being confined to the employes 
of the company at Racine. The membership is voluntary. 

At the main plant a hospital is maintained, where a surgi'on 
and trained nurses are in attendance at all times and where free 
medical and surgical treatment are given to employes. At the 
same time the ])olicy of "Safety First" is rigidly observed. 

Reference may be made to Volume II of this work for fur- 
ther details of the Case Company. 



Tlic J. I. Case Plow Works v^vvw from a small, obscure black- 
smith slio]) in the rear of a fainiiiiii,- mill factory and now occupies 
over twenty acres of space. The business was organized in 1876 
by ,1. I. Tasc under the name of the Case-Whiting Company, his 
])ni-tnei', Mr. Whiting, being the inventor of the center walking 
plow. Two years later iMr. Whiting sold his interest in the con- 
cern and the name was changed to the J. I. Case Plow Company, 
which remained the firm style until 1884, when the business was 
I'eoi'ganized, the capital increased and the name changed to the 
J. I. Case Plow Works. In 1890 J. T. Case withdrew from the 
Inisiness and his sou, Jackson T. Case, succeeded him as presi- 
dent of the company and held that ofifice for two years. Tn 1892. 
however, H. M. Wallis, who became general manager of the busi- 
n(>ss in 1885, was made treasurer and president, and he is still 
serving as chief executive of the corporation. The other officers 
are: William Sobey, vice-president; L. N. Burns, secretary and 
sales manager, and William ^1. La Venture, treasurer. The com- 
]iany is now one of the largest independent implement concerns 
in the world and its products are sold all over the United States, 
through the Dominion and in other foreign countries. The com- 
pany employs about ()<>() men. all of them skilled mechanics, and 
there is a system of rigid ins])ection which begins when the raw 
material is brought into the factory and which is completed when 
the finished tool is ])ronounced worthy of the "Plow in Hand"" 
trade mark. 

One of the most important depai'tments of the company is 
the experimental department, in which exjx'rt mechanical engi- 
neers are constantly seeking to design more efficient farm machin- 
ery. A 300-acre farm south of Racine is maintained, upon which 
ex'ei-y new tyi)e of farm machine is tried out thoroughly before 
i1 is permitted to go on to the market. If a machine fails to do 
eflicientl>- the work foi' which it was designed it is returned to 
the factory, where the defects ai'c corrected and it is then tested 
and I'c-tested until it gives absolute satisfaction. 

The factory buildings are up-to-date in construction and are 
protected by a modern si)rinkler system. The machinery is pro- 
tected so that there is a mininuim of danger to the employes. 



One of tile most popularly known industries in the United 
States is that of the Horliek Malted Milk Company of Racine. 
The company was organized in 1875 and was incorporated in 
1878 as the Horlick Food Conijiany by William and James llor- 
lick, brothers, who established their plant in the outskirts of 
Kacine. in Mount Ple;!sant Townshi]). They began to mainifact- 
ni'e a product known as Ilorlick's Food, which was a prepai'cd 
food for infants, invalids and the aged, and which was to lie 
mixed with conunon milk. ''Their sales at that time covered onl.v 
Chicago and vicinity. William Horlick, however, realized the 
great disadvantage for all foods for infants that required the 
addition of fresh milk, owing to the difficulty of obtaining good 
milk and keeping it fresh. He thei'efore began experimenting 
with the intention of producing a pure food product con- 
taining an adequate proportion of })ure. rich milk — a food 
that would be complete in itself, that would keep indefinitely 
in any climate and would be free from all the dangers aris- 
ing from the use of milk that is impure, adulterated, laden 
with disease gei'ms or in any way rendered unfit for use. 
Moi'eover, he desired that this food should be not only safe, but 
very nourishing and easily digested by the most delicate infant 
or invalid, while it should contain at the same time all the ele- 
ments of nutrition. In carrying on the work of experimentation 
Mr. Horlick met with many disappointments and leading chem- 
ists claimed that it was both a chenucal and mechanical impossi- 
bility to perfect such a food, advising him to abandon the idea. 
He did not relinquish his set purpose, however, and in 1887 he 
])roduced for the first time in the world's history a dried milk, 
combined with an extract of malted barley and wheat, that would 
keep indefinitely. The value of such a product was at once 
apparent and the business grew 1)y leaps and bounds. New build- 
ings of reinforced concrete were added from time to time and 
today the plant of the Horlick Company covers an area of fifteen 
acres. In 1902 Plant No. 2 was built, being a duplicate of Plant 
No. 1, and in 1905 Plant No. 3 came into existence. Since then 
all the old Ituildings have been rebuilt in concrete and steel, the 
sanitary conditions, ventilation and space being the principal 
features of the plant. Tn 1915 the company erected a new milk 
house, which is one of the largest in the country. About 350 


people are employed in the factory. A. J. Horlick owns person- 
ally several farms npon which are several hundred head of cows 
and he also buys milk from 150 fanners. 

The process employed in the manufacture of the food con- 
sists in boiling the milk in a vacuum, which enables them to boil 
it without heating above 140 degrees, for milk cooks at 156 de- 
grees. This results in removing all water without cooking. The 
company has a plant at Slough, England, equal to the No. 2 plant 
of Racine and supplies from that point Europe, Africa and a part 
of India. The product today covers the entire world, shipments 
leaving for all quarters of the globe every week. Every Arctic 
('X])lorer for the past twenty years has carried a supply of Hor- 
lick 's ^Malted Milk in powdered form, for it supplies more nutri- 
tion to the bulk than any other food and people have lived fifteen 
years with no other food. It is a standard food with the armies 
of the world. 

In 1889 James Horlick went to New York, where he estab- 
lished a branch, and in 1890 opened the English branch, where 
he has since been in charge. He is the president of the company. 
William Horlick has charge of the home plant and has always 
lived in Racine. He is the secretary and treasurer of the com- 
pany, and has two sons actively engaged in the business with him, 
A. J. as vice-president, and William, Jr., as assistant manager. 
In 1906 the name was changed to the Horlick's Malted Milk 
Company . 


The ]\Iitchell-Lewis Motor Company was established under 
its present fonn in 190.3 by W. T. and W. M. Lewis, who began 
the manufacture of automobiles, using the motor invented by 
.John W. Bate. Long prior to this the name of Lewis had figured 
in connection with manufacturing interests in Racine. In 1854 
Henry Mitchell, a ]iioneer wagon mamifacturer, established his 
business here and later was joined in partnership by his son-in- 
law, W. T. Lewis, who purchased an interest in the business in 
1864. They were maiuifacturers of farm wagons and after the 
})artnership had been in existence for two years the firm style 
of Mitchell, Lewis & Company was assumed. Although the com- 
pany suffered losses through a disastrous fire which completely 
(histroyed their fact<n'y in 1880 they at once rebuilt on a larger 


and better scale and the business was resumed with renewed 
energy. In 1884 the company was incorporated with Henry 
i\[itchell as president, W. T. Lewis as vice-president; Frank L. 
Mitchell, secretary; C. 1). Sinclair, treasurer, and Henry G. 
Mitchell, superintendent. With changing conditions there devel- 
oped the automobile industry and the Lewis Motor Company 
sprang into existence. The manufacture of wagons was contin- 
ued and in 1910 the two companies were merged and consolidated 
under the style of the Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company. Today 
they have a plant covering twenty-five or thirty acres and over 
2,000 men are employed. The buildings are of cement construc- 
tion, supplied with a sprinkler system and equipped with electric 
power furnished from a central plant. 


The Racine Woolen Mills Company was organized to take 
over a business that was founded in 1863 by L. S. Blake and 
John S. Hart and was conducted under the name of Blake & 
Company at Bridge and Ontario Streets. They started business 
I in a small scale in a little building. In 1877 the business was 
incorporated with L. S. Blake as the president, John S. Hart 
as treasurer, James J. Elliott and A. W. Tillapaugh as stock- 
holders and dii'ectors. Afterward the business was incorporated 
under the name of the Racine Woolen Mills, Blake & Company 
as i)roprietors. The company originally made shawls and blan- 
kets, and in later years made cloth foi- clothing. Today their 
output includes Indian blankets which are sold throughout the 
couutiy. The factory covered 4.5,000 square feet of floor space 
and at one time about 150 people were employed. Mr. Blake 
remained as president of the company until his death in 1894, 
when he was succeeded by L. J. Elliott, who continued in the 
office until 1911. In 1912 the business was reorganized with 
Sands M. Hart as president; H. H. Hart, treasurer, and John 
S. Hart, secretary. With the death of Sands M. Hart in 1915 
H. H. Hart became the president, with John S. Hart as secre- 
tary and treasurer. Owing to a combination of circumstances, 
the Racine Woolen Mills Company has suspended business re- 
cently and closed down the plant. 



The S. Freeman & Sons Manufacturing Company was estab- 
iislicd ill 1S()7 by S. Freeman, who in a small way began manu- 
factui-iiig and rei^airing boilers. A few months later he entered 
into i)artnership witli William E. Davis and opened a small 
machine sho]). In 18(58 they admitted John R. Davies to the 
partnership, at which time iNfr. Davies was operating a foundry 
ill tlic old Star Mills, located where the William Pugh coal yards 
are now situated. At that time the firm style of Davies, Free- 
man & Davis Machine Shop & Foundry was assumed, but after 
a lu'ief existence the new undertaking faced failure. Tn the fall 
of 1869 Mr. Freeman again established a l)usiness on Bridge 
Street, where he opened a machine shop and foundry and con- 
ducted a small Ixiiler shop. ITe be<'ame engaged in the manufact- 
ui'e of gray iron castings in c(mnection with his other work. In 
1871 the firm of J. I. Case & Company began the manufacture of 
boilers and engines for threshing machines and Mr. Freeman 
took a contract to build the boilers. He continued this through- 
<iut his remaining days. In the uiachine shop he also began 
the manufacture of a fanning mill patented I)y (!. F. Clark 
and gradually he added other implements until the (uititut 
now includes a large line of fai'm imphnneuts and machin- 
ery Fn 18S() the business was incoi'iiorated inider the name 
of S. Freeman & Sons Manufacturing Company, with S. Fi'ee- 
iiian as the president; Charles Freeman as the secretary, 
and Michael N. Freeman as treasurer. Their first factory was 
on Bridge Street, near the plant of the Case Company, and in 
1894 they built a boiler plant at th(> foot of Reichert Court, 
facing Ilainilton Street on the north. In 1895 the entii'e ])laiit 
was removed to the ]»resent location, where the coni])any has 
six acres of land. The l>uildings cover three acres. The boiler 
shop is of brick and steel construction and is sup])Iied with a 
spi'inkler system. The company has its own electric plant; also 
a hydraulic and pneuiiiatic |)ower system. They employ 300 
men, mostly skilled labor. They manufactui'e boilers, both power 
aiul lieating, of the tubulai' type; also boilers internally fired and 
of the water tube ty]")e. Their product includes all kinds of steel 
pipe, smoke slacks, ensilage cutters and carriers, coi-n shellers. 
steel windiiiills and towei's, fanning mills and broadcast seeders. 



.Til"' ^ M i 1 1 1 ■ r 

Mi»Pi~ yTm |r ltrn •»;( | --iT" i '., i r"; i 1-ri - jSmBmrntm ■ ^-»1 

iTijTiTnt! r 


The mill was destroyed by fire Christmas niirht. IS70. The bridse was replaced Ijy an iron britige 
about IK70. 

H1SI'()R^■ OF racinp: corxTY 253 


ffosepli iMilliT, tlic fdUiidcr of tliis l)iisiii('ss, entered Ujjoii 
nil apprenticeship with the firm of McDonald & Roby, shoemal?- 
ers. in tlie spring of 1848, mastered the trade, and was afterward 
iiKuh' foreman. In 1857 he purchased the business of his former 
('iu]iloyers. TTis busin(>SR continued to develo]) until January 5. 
18GG, when he suffered heavy losses through a disastrous fire. 
He resumed operation on a small scale. In 1872 Mr. Millei- de- 
cided to devote his entire attention to the manufacturing business 
and sold his interest in the store. In 1875 he admitted Charles 
'P. Schweitzer and Rush S. Adams to a ]>ai'tnershi]i under the firm 
name of J. Miller ic ("^ompany. In 1875 All'. Miller and his asso- 
ciates moved the firm to Dubuque, Iowa, but Racine capitalists, 
on hearing of this, offered him a building and grounds for his 
factory at the corner of Fourth Street and Lake Avenue if he 
would return. He returned on the provision that he should be 
able to buy the property, which he did several years later. 
Larger quarters were soon obtained at the corner of Third Street 
and Lake Avenue. Again heavy losses were suffered by fire in 
1882 when the greater part of Racine was swept by flames. How- 
ever, he succeeded in getting a new start and erected a larger 
manufacturing plant under the name of the J. Miller Conqiany. 
It was in 1882 that the business was incorporated under that 
name with Joseph Miller as president; 0. T. Schweitzer, vice- 
president; Frank J. Millei', treasurer; Heiu'v C Miller, superin- 
tendent; CJeorge W. Miller, secretary, and Joseph F'. Miller, 
bookkeeper. The business constantly developed until 375 opera- 
fives were employed in the plant. 


T. Driver & Sons Manufacturing Company is one of the old 
established industrial c(tiiceriis of Racine. The business of sash 
and door manufacturing was begun in 1867 by Thomas Driver. 
At that time he bought out Lucas Bradley, who had established 
the business in the '40s and was then located at Sixth and Camj)- 
bell Streets. After Mr. Driver took possession the plant was 
destroyed by fire on January 17, 1870. Mr. Driver rebuilt his 
luill at 212 East Second, now State, Street. In 1896 the company 
again suffered a loss by fire and as quickly it was rebuilt. 

After purchasing the business from Lucas Bradley Mr. 


Driver cdiitiiiiied alone for a few years, but in 1875 was joined 
by a son, at which time the business was reorganized under the 
firm name of Thomas Driver & Son. Still later a further reor- 
ganization occurred and the firm name of Thomas Driver & Sons 
^lanufacturing Comi)any was assvmied, three other sons, Andrew, 
Ohai'les and S. M. having joined the firm. The business was in- 
eori)orated in 1884. The father continued at the head of the 
business until his death, when J. C. Driver was made president, 
with John M. Driver as secretary and treasurer, and S. M. Driver, 
sui)erintendent. There was no further change among the officers 
until June, 1915, when S. M. Driver bought out the interests of 
his brothers and is now president of the company. 

The plant consists of two buildings. They manufacture a 
full line of sash, doors, stairs, cupboards, etc. From fifty to sixty 
men are employed. 


This is another of the oldest manufacturing plants of the 
City of Racine. The ])usiness was organized and established in 
1870 by Charles fJoehner and after a number of years a corpora- 
tion was formed which bought out Mr. Goehner in April, 1906, 
(i. L. Buck being elected president and treasurer of the company, 
with J. P. Hochgurtel as vice-president and Charles W. Peck 
as secretary. In 1879 the business was known as the Racine Wire 
Cloth Works. 

The plant occupies a building 129 by 45 feet, of three stories, 
of mill construction, and modern in every respect. The company 
manufactures chemical fire extinguishers, weaves brass and 
copper cloth, makes wire and iron rails and fences, wire protec- 
tions for machinery, also various household specialties. From 
forty to fifty men are carried on the ])ayroll. 


Under the name of S. (\ -Johnson & Son is carried on one of 
the most important manufacturing enterprises in Racine. The 
business was established in 1882 by S. C. Johnson, who began 
the manufacture of hardwood flooring. Gradually the trade was 
developed along another line and the company now specializes 
in the ]>roduction of wood finishes, one of the principal ])roducts 
being Johnson's Prepared Wax, which is sold through jol)bers 

Photo furnished by Billings 



over the entire world. Today the company has its own offices 
in Ijondon, England, and Sydney, Australia. Two hundred peo- 
ple are employed regularly in the Racine plant. The buildings 
are of modern construction, equipped with automatic machinery 
and sprinkler system. This is the largest cstalilishment of the 
kind in the world, the output being 5,000,0U0 pounds of wax 
each year. 


This company is the successor of the Anstcd & Higgins Spring 
Company, which was established in 1884 by Michael Higgins and 
E. W. Ansted. Their plant was located at Racine Jimction and 
thei'e they began the manufacture of springs, putting upon the 
market a product which found immediate favor, as indicated by 
the rapid growth of the business. This led to the establishment 
of a branch plant at Connorsville, Indiana, which was aftenvard 
taken over by Mr. Ansted and the partnership was then dissolved, 
^Ir. Higgins remaining in charge of the Racine establishment. 
The com]:)any was incorjiorated under its present form in 1892, 
with i\lrs. ^lary Higgins as the president, James Higgins as sec- 
retary, and Michael Higgins, treasurer. They are engaged in the 
manufacture of springs and axles and the output is sold all over 
the United States. Employment is given to about 180 people 
on the average and the plant covers about a half 1)lock. The 
Iniildings and machinery are of the latest type. 


This company was organized April 1, 1885, by J. F., H. C. 
and H. O. Wadewitz, together with A. B. Augustine. The busi- 
ness was carried on under the firm organization until 1895, when 
it was incorporated with J. F. Wadewitz as president; T. C. 
Wadewitz, vice-president, and Herman O. Wadewitz, secretary 
and treasurer. No change has occurred since, except that ]\Iiss 
M. A. Wadewitz has succeeded T. C. Wadewitz in the vice-presi- 
dency, the latter having sold out in 1901. The business was 
begun with a force of three or fovu" workmen and the factory 
established at 1007 Superior Street in a building 40 by 80 feet. 
Since that time four l)uildings have been added, all of modern 
construction. The plant is operated with steam power and they 
manufacture trunks, traveling bags and wood novelties of all 


kinds. Al)uut sixty employes are kept on the payroll. The busi 
noss is clone entirely throut^h dealers. 


The Chicago Knbher Clothing Company was established in 
December, 1886, by Mr. and Mrs. Laughton, who brought the 
works here from Chicago. Mr. Laughton died in 1893 and the 
business management then fell to ]\Irs. Laughtcm. This plant 
now, located at the corner of Albert Street, the Northwestern 
tracks and Forest Avenue, controls the second largest establish- 
ment of this kind in the United States. The company has four 
acres of ground space, its buildings covering two acres. These 
structures are of the latest pattern. About 200 people are em- 
ployed, 50% of them men. T\ul)ber raincoats are manufactured. 


The (iold ]\ledal Cam}) Furniture Manufacturing Company 
had its inception in a l)usiness started by R. B. Lang in 1890 and 
incorporated in 1892, the first officers being: R. B. Lang, presi- 
dent; W. G. Gittings, vice-president; J. C Teall, secretary. This 
fonipany manufactures all kinds of camp furniture and outing 
outfits, although at the beginning the output consisted of only 
a few articles, among which was the Gold Medal cot invented 
by Mr. Latour. About 1894 they removed to their present loca- 
tion from their old quarters on Thirteenth Street. They now 
occupy about two entire blocks, which includes the lumber yard. 
Their buildings are of modern construction and supplied with 
the lat(;st types of machinery. Two hundred people are em- 
ployed. The Gold Medal cot has been adopted as the standard 
by the United States army and navy, also a chair bathtub and 
stool used by the medical de])artment of the LTnited States army. 
The company supplies the National Guard with cots. The pres- 
ent officers of the corporation are: C. C. Gittings, president; 
K. E. Bailey, vice-president; W. C. Gittings. secretary, and Ward 
Gittings, treasiirer. 


This plant has been in existence since 1892, when the busi- 
ness was estal)lish('(l by Fred and Geoi'ge Hodges under the firm 
style of Hodges & Son. In 1894 F. J. Green purchased an interest 
in the business and about 1902 he bought out George Hodges 

Photo furnished by Billings 



and the firm style df Tlodges & Green was assumed. That rela- 
tion continued until 1904, when Mr. (ii-een bought out Fred 
Hodges, and sinee that time the firm lias been the F. J. Green 
Manufacturing Works. The phmt is located at the corner of 
Douglas and Prospect Streets and the property is 215 by 220 
feet in dimensions; the three-story buildings are all of mill con- 
struction, with sjirinkler system. About sixty men are employed. 
They manufacture s]K'cial machinery for structural iron work, 
also general job work and repairing, plating, stamping and screw 


This company was (»rganized in 1894 by Lucius J. Elliott, 
Byron B. Blake. KMchard T. Robinson and O. L. Parmenter. This 
pai'tnership coiicei'u was located at 612 Wisconsin Street. They 
manufacture ])aper cigar pockets patented by O. L. Parmenter. 
The company was incorporated in 1902 with L. J. Elliott as 
president; R. T. Robinson, vice-president, and O. L. Parmenter, 
secretary and treasurer. The company also manufactures pack- 
ages for putting uj) silk, candy, chocolates and silverware. The 
product is sold all over the \vorld. Seventy-five employes are 
maintained in the Racine factory, another factory is operated 
also at Toronto, Canada. They have their own printing plant 
and use machinery invented by Mr. Parmenter. 


The American Seating Company of Racine Avas incorporated 
imder the laws of New Jersey in 1899 as the American School 
Fm-niture Comjjany, but the name was changed to the American 
Seating Company in 1906. In the former year they took over the 
plant of the Thomas Kane & Company at Racine, that company 
having been organized in 1894 by Thomas Kane and his l)usiness 
associates. Prior to that date the business had been carried on 
under the name of the Racine Hardware Manufacturing Com- 
pany. It w^as instituted and organized about 1876 by F. H. Hear., 
Thomas Kane, E. G. Din-ant and I. C. Clapp of Kenosha. Tliis 
company failed in 1893, but the business was reorganized in 1894 
under the finn style of Thomas Kane & Company. Three hun- 
dred people are employed by this factory, most of them skilled. 
The buildings are of mill construction. The output of the plant 
includes school furniture and veneer opera chairs. Tliis was the 


first ('()ni]»;uiy in Kacine to cstaiilisli the Saturday half lioliday. 


This l)usiiiess was established in 1900 under the name of the 
Kacine Steel & Iron Works, but was reori;anized under the pres- 
ent firm name in 1904. The business was originated by G. N. 
Prentice and others, while the present officers are: Walter F. 
Walker, president; W. B. ]\litcliell, secretary and treasurer. The 
])lant is located at Twenty-third and Racine Streets and covers 
five acres. The buildings are modern in construction. About 
170 people are employed in the plant, most of which is skilled 
labor. The output is sold all over the United States. 


The Racine Shoe ]\Ianufacturing Company was organized in 
1902 with Sands M. Hart as president; L. J. Elliott, secretary and 
treasurer, and Fred C. Goff, general manager. The plant of the 
company was located originally at the corner of Wisconsin and 
Seventh Streets, but with the demand for larger quarters a re- 
moval was made in 1906 to 1?.20 Clark Street. In 1914 Mr. Goff 
was elected president of the company and in 1916 Jens Jensen 
liecame president, with Fred C. Goff as secretary and treasurer, 
and L. J. Elliott, vice-president. The plant includes 35,000 
square feet of floor space, occupying a building three stories in 
height. They manufacture a special line of men's Goodyear 
welt shoes and the product is sold in this country and in many 
foreign lands. Aliout 200 workmen are employed by this com- 
pany, most of which is skilled labor. 


The Arnold Electric Company was organized April 19, 1904, 
as the United States Standard Electrical Works Company and 
business was started in a small way on the fourth floor of the 
Secor Building in Racine, in one room. They manufactured elec- 
trical devices under the trade name of Arnold. This company 
was the flrst to place upon the market the small type of vacuum 
cleaners f(ii- household use and they were also the originators of 
the ])ortable massage vibrators, electric hair dryers, electric 
di'ink mixers, washing machines, electric signs and phonograph 
motors. They manufacture small power motors for various uses. 

On November 20, 1914, the name was changed to the Arnold 


Elcctrif Company and the capital st.ick to $100,000.00. Fii 1907 
the business was moved to a small building known as the Collier 
Building, at Washington Avenue and the Northwestern tracks. 
Tn 1909 an entire city block was purchased, upon which a three- 
story building was constructed, giving them 50,000 square feet 
(if tloor si»ace. They have their own tool making department and 
employ about 100 people, most of whom are skilled workers. The 
officers are: George C. Schmitz, president and manager, and J. A. 
Schmitz, secretary and treasurer. 


The business now conducted under the above name was or- 
ganized al)out 1910 under the present fonn, but was established 
about 1902 under the name of the Racine Novelty Company by 
George W. Jagers. The business was conducted until December, 
1909, when the plant was destroyed by fire, and in 1910 the com- 
pany was reorganized with George W. Jagers, F. K. Bull and 
Fred F. Blandin as the incorporators. Since that time several 
changes in ownership have occurred. The plant, located at Sixth 
and I\Iead Streets, is devoted to the manufacture of automobile 
bodies, which are sold over the whole United States. The 
factory contains over 500,000 square feet of working space and 
there are three four-story buildings, all modern in construction. 
Fully 900 employes are maintained and the plant is continually 
worked at full capacity. Many of the leading automobile factories 
of the country use the bodies put out at this plant. 


The Racine Rubber Company was organized INIarch 12, 1910, 
its first officers being: C. F. U. Kelley, president; Frank L. 
Mitchell, vice-president; Stuart Webster, treasurer, and J. H. 
Dwight, secretary. The work of building the factory commenced 
on June 6, 1910, and was completed April 1, 1911, since which 
time further additions have been made, until now the plant cov- 
ers three and one-half acres. The buildings are of modern con- 
struction and three stories in height. The output of the plant 
includes automobile, bicycle and motorcycle tires. The "Racine 
Tire" has become famous and the production of the plant now 
runs about 1,300 tires per day. From 800 to 1,000 people are 
employed by this firm. 



The Wallis Tractor Conii)aiiy was organized about 1912, with 
H. IM. Wallis as president and treasurer; H. M. Wallis, Jr., sec- 
retary, and O. P. Conger as director. The company manufactures 
fai'iii and road tractors and eini)loys 200 ]K'ople. The factory 
was at one time located in ('leveland, Ohio. 


The business of this establishment was started in 1870, when 
Jens Jensen turned out work for various wagon companies. The 
c(mipany was incorporated in 1883 as the Jensen Manufacturing 
Company and in 1886 the interests of Mr. Jensen were purchased 
and the name changed to the above caption. The immense shops 
of the company were located at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue 
and Prospect Streets until July 13, 1898, when the main struc- 
tures were destroyed by fire. Not long afterward a site was 
purchased at Lakeside, south of the city. Here an extensive 
factory was built. About 300 people are employed at this plant. 


This large industry, now em])loying al)out 250 men, was 
started in 1899. The product of the company has a sale over the 
whole United States. An entire block of land is covered by the 
factory buildings, which are of the latest construction and ade- 
quately protected. The first officers of this plant were: William 
Tlorlick, ]U'esident; David (i. Janes, secretary and treasurer, and 
Walter A. Driver, manager. 


Of all the products of Racine's many factories, perhaps no 
one bears more universal popularity or is better known than the 
Hartman trunks. The brand of trunks manufactured by this 
company bears a reputation of durability and convenience un- 
surpassed. The Hartman Trunk Comi)any was incorporated in 
1889, with a capital stock of $200,000.00. The present officers 
of the concern ai'c: Joseph S. Hartman, president; Henry S. 
Hartman, vice-president; Sam J. Hartman, treasurer, and Hugo. 
Hartman, secretary. About 190 ineii ai'c <'m])loyed by this com- 


There have been and are several incubator companies located 


Built at the Rapids in the spring of 1S35. Dislodged by flood of 1S64 and floated down the river to 
the George Wustum Farm. 


ill the City of Racine. The Belk; City Iiienbator Company is one, 
of tlie largest of this number, employing upon an average about 
loO men, and is devoted solely to the manufacture of incubators, 
wliich are sold over the entire country and abroad. Other com- 
])anies are: The Kommon Sense Incubator Company, the Na- 
tional Incubator Comjiany, the Progressive Incubator Company, 
and the Iron Clad Incubator Company. The last named is the 
yoiuigest of the group, having been incorporated in the year 
1916, with a capital stock of $60,000.00. The Wisconsin Incu- 
bator Company was also capitalized in 1910. Th(mias J. Collier 
is president of both of the latter companies. 


This manufacturing instituti(m is devoted to the making of 
various iron products; it is a large, complete and extensive iron 
foundry employing upwards of 400 men. The Belle City Mal- 
leable Iron Company was incorporated in the year 1892 with a 
(•ai)ital stock of $500,000.00. J. A. Chapman is the president; 
J. II. Dwight, vice-])resident and general manager; C. S. Ander- 
son, secretary and treasurer. The plant is located at 1500 Ke- 
waunee Street. 


The Belle City Basket Company, located at St. Patrick Street 
and the Northwestern tracks, while not one of the largest manu- 
factories of Racine, is distinctive. This plant manufactures 
baskets of all descriptions. The average payroll comprises about 
fifty men. The plant itself is modern and equipped with the latest 
style machinery for the Avork. 


The Hamilton-Beach Manufacturing Company is one of the 
largest mamifacturers of electrical specialties in Racine. About 
seventy-five men are employed. This company was incorporated 
in 1910, with $16,000.00 capital stock. F. J. "Osius is the presi- 
dent; M. Osius, vice-president; Albert .1. Druse, secretary and 
treasurer. The plant is located at Rapids Drive and the North- 
western Railway tracks. 


The Ililker-Wiechers Manufacturing Company employs 350 
men in the production of workingmen's clothing. The plant of 


this large company is located at 1232 Mound Avenue. The com- 
pany was incorporated in 1899 witli a capital stock of $10,000.00. 
This amount has subsequently been increased. The following- 
are the officers: William Hilker, president; William F. Hilker, 
vice-president; John Wiechers, secretary and treasurer. The 
equipment of the ])lant is modern and adapted to efficiency and 
quality of production. 


This large concern, lucated on West Sixth Street, and with 
an average payroll of 125, had a small beginning in the early 
'90s, but has in later years grown to its present proportions. The 
company was incorporated under the laws of the state in 1897 
and at that time carried a capital stock of $100,000.00. Jacob 
Sehnadig is the president of the company, S. Haas the vice-presi- 
dent, and D. B. Eisendrath the superintendent. 


This is one of the oldest manufactm'ing concerns in Racine, 
having been established in the late '70s. The company was in- 
corporated as early as 1882 and was capitalized recently for $300,- 
000.00. The plant is devoted almost exclusively to the manu- 
facture of agricultural implements of all kinds and about 175 
men are given employment throughout the year. The officers of 
the company are: John Reid, Jr., president; John H. Jones, vice- 
president; Walter J. Tostevin, secretary; Milton M. Jones, treas- 
urei". The factory is located at Seventeenth Street and Junction 


The l)usiness of this concern was started by Martin M. Secor, 
a native of Bohemia, who came to Racine in 1852. He gained 
prominence here as mayoi- of the city and also as one of the 
largest trunk manufactui-ers in the country. The company was 
incorporated in 1888. Over 100 men are employed by the com- 
pany at the plant, which is located at 401 Lake Avenue. The 
officers at present are as follows: A. T. Perkins, president and 
treasurer; Mrs. F. E. Secor, vice-president; Charles Kristerius, 
seci-etary. M. M. Secor, the founder of the business, died in 
Racine on January 5, 1911. 

y. M 

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While not among the larger concerns of Racine in point of 
the number of men employed, this company has gained national 
reputation owing to the quality of the Gorton prodiicts, the in- 
ventions of George Gorton. Milling machines are the staple 
product and they are of luiexcelled quality. About fifty men are 
employed at the plant located at 1107 Thirteenth Street. The 
company was made into a corporation in 1895, with a capital 
stock of $50,000.00. The present force of officers includes: 
George Gorton, president and treasurer, and S. (lorton, vice- 


This company represents an industry distinctive to the local- 
ity. This is the canning of sauer kraut and other staple special- 
ties. The tremendous yield of cabbage in this part of Wisconsin 
has made the l)usiness possible and the sauer kraut industry has 
grown to large proportions. About fifty men are employed by 
the Gunther Company. The jjlant is located at 1715 Asylum 


The manufacture of steel and alumiinmi shoes is another 
of Racine's prominent industries. The Overland Shoe Company, 
tlic Racine Aluminum Shoe Company and the Steel Shoe Com- 
pany are representative of this work here. From twenty-five to 
sixty men are employed by these factories. The Fiebrich-Fox- 
Hilker Company and the Monarch Shoe Company are both large 
concerns manufacturing shoes for workiugmen. Over 150 men 
are employed l)y the former. 


In the year 1879 the factory was the feature of Racine. There 
were many of them and it was estimated that over $7,000,000.00 
in ca]>ital was invested. 

The principal establishment was the J. I. Case & Company. 
Then came Fish Brothers & Company, manufacturers of every 
variety of farm, freight, plantation, quarry and header wagons, 
together with a full line of phaetons, trotting Iniggies, road 
wagons and spring wagons of every descri])tion. This institu- 
tion had been started in the fall of 1862 under the firm name 
of Fish & Bull. The Racine Wagon & Carriage Company, which 


liad been iiicoiiMiratcd in 1877, was tbt'ii building up a business, 
also tlio Hello City Novelty Carriage Works, which had been 
established in 1874. The J. I. Case Plow Company had been in 
operation about three years. The Seaman Chilled Plow Company 
was just erecting its factory plant. The Racine Silver Plate (\mi- 
pany, manufacturers of gold and silver plated ware, Britannia 
ware, cutlery, etc., bad been iii('oi'])orated in 1875 and were doing 
a creditable Inisiness. Henry W. Wright was manufactui'ing 
sash, doors, blinds, mouldings, fanning mills, etc. He erected a 
factory in 1872. Thomas Driver & Son were making the same 
articles as Mr. Wright on State Street, close to the Western Union 
Depot. Mobn & Stecbei''s planing mill was started in 1876. The 
Racine Woolen Mills, which had been started in 1865, were run- 
ning at the corner of Bridge and Ontario Streets. Gunther & 
Son were making post-hole angers. The Racine Cotton Batting 
Mill, William Baumann, proprietor, established in 1871, was 
located on Douglas Avenue. The Racine Twine & Cordage Woi-ks 
was located on Chestnut Street and covered three acres of ground. 
The Racine Basket Manufacturing Comi)any, which had been 
opened in 18()9 by Elliott & Wetherell, was then doing a growing 
business. The Belle City Soap Factory, a small concern, was 
situated on Chippecotton Street. The Racine Wire Cloth Works, 
formerly Charles Coebner's Wire Works, established in 1869, 
Avere mamifacturiiii; on Suix-rior Street, north of State. The 
Nortln\'estern Trunk & Traveling Bag Manufactory had been 
started by M. M. Secor as a harness business in 1861. In 1877 
the lirm was styled M. M. Secor & Company, Joseph and Anthony 
Hayek having l)een admitted. The Racine Linseed Oil Works 
were started in 1872 by Emerson & Company and were doing 
business. The Racine Pumi) Factory, Winship Brothers, which 
had been started in 1864, were rumiing at the corner of State and 
St. Clair Streets. Jens .lensen was manufacturing wagon hard- 
ware and malleable iron. Hodges and Mutter were making 
wooden cisterns and tanks. The Racine Hardware Manufactur- 
ing Comi)any were in operation at Racine Junction. Hurlburt 
& ('ompany commenced the manufacture of a patent lock for 
wagon ))rakes in 1870, and were then manufacturing several types 
of locks. The Vinegar & Pickle Factory, George Bucher, was 
eslablished in 18()7. Thr Racine Iron Works, S. Freeman & Son, 


had shops located on Bridj^e Street. F. EckJiardt was a piano 
inanufaetiirer on Sixth Street. 

The fanniiit;- mills were represented by the firms of Blake- 
Beebe Company, Haeine Agricultiu-al Fonndry & Machine Works, 
Daniel Bull. E." P. Dickey, T. & N. Altrin^ei-, "llu.uhes & Williams, 
Tostevin & Le Ray, Johnson & Field, and ir^'reeman & h]vans. 

The breweries were those of Fred Heck, the City Brewery, 
the Star Brewery, the North Side Brewery and W. H. Weber. 

There were two flouring mills, those of P. A. Herzog- and 
J. H. Roberts, called the Racine Star ]\Iills, and the State Street 
Mill, Peter Zirbes and Lambert Weiss, proprietors. 

J. Miller & Company were engaged in the manufacture of 
shoes; also Anthony (i. Pcil and the L. W. Phillu'ook & Company. 

The tanneries were ojjerated by F. Platz & Son, Bevier & 
Reid. Jacob Kawelti, A. JNIadson, j\Iai'k Nelson and L. W. Phil- 
l)rook & Company. 

J. A. Horlick & Sons and William Beswick were lime manu- 

Among the brick manufacturers were: Meidinger & Com- 
pany, Morris Brothers and Burdick Brothers. The lumber yards 
at this time were <jperated b,y Daniel Slauson, George Farns- 
worth, Durand & Hill, Isaac Taylor, N. Pendleton and R. Canfield. 


The United States census of 1910 gives among the more im- 
portant manufactures of Racine the following, with the number 
of men employed in each: E. H. Adams & Son, hardware special- 
ties, 10; Advance iManufacturing Company, hardware specialties, 
25; Charles Alshuler Manufacturing Company, clothing, 325; 
American Seating Comijany, 200; American Skein & Foundry 
Company, 200; Art Furniture Manufacturing Company, 6; Badger 
Manufacturing Company, 100; Badger Foundry Company, 20; 
Beffel Manufacturing Company, 10; Belle City Basket Company, 
42; Belle City Incubator Company, 55; Belle City Malleable Iron 
Company, 450; Belle City Manufacturing Company, 150; Belle 
City Skirt Company, 25; R. R. Birdsall, 30; A. C. Bye Company, 
12; Brannum Lumber Company, 20; Broecker Paper Box Com- 
pany, 20; Carroll Coal Company, 25; Chicago Rubber Clothing 
Company, 110; Chalmers & Company, iron foundry, 10; Case Broth- 
ers, 10; J. I. Case Plow Works, 600; J. I. Case Threshing Machine 


Conipany, 2,000; John Bean i\ranufa('turing Company, 10; Thomas 
Driver & Sons, 40; Domestic Manufacturing Company, 20; B. D. 
Eiseudrath Tanning Company, 100; Fiebrich-Fox-Hilker Shoe 
Company, 200; Flegel Manufacturing & Plating Works, 15; Pos- 
ter & Williams Manufacturing Company, 50; Freeman & Son 
Mamifacturing Company, 300; George B. Freeman Manufactur- 
ing Company, 20; Gold ^ledal Camp Furniture Company, 100; 
F. J. Green Engineering Works; Grey Manufacturing Company, 
soap, 10; F. W. (iunther Company, sauer kraut, 40; Hartman 
Trunk Company, 190; Hamilton -Beach Manufactiiring Company, 
100; Harvey Forging Company, 30; Higgins Spring & Axle Com- 
pany, 150; llilker-Wiechers Manufacturing Company, 350; 
Holbrook-Armstrong Iron Company, 90; Horlick's Malted Milk 
Company, 500; Imperial Bit & Snap Company, 45; S. C. Johnson 
& Son, 165; Johnson & Field ]\Ianufacturing Company, 30; J. H. 
& F. R. Kelley, 30; Kelley-Racine Lmnber Company, 400; Kranz 
Broom Factory, 20; Lakeside Malleable Castings Company, 250; 
Lang Manufacturing Company, 20; N. R. Lindorff, art glass 
works, 20; J. Miller Comjjany, shoe manufacturers, 275; Mitchell- 
Lewis Motor Car Com])any, 2,400; ^litchell-Lewis Company, 
wagon manufacturers, (iOO; McCrum-Howell Company, 200; 
Progress INIanufacturing Company, 15; Pierce Motor Company, 
500; Racine Auto Top Company, 35; Racine Brass & Iron Com- 
pany, 90; Racine Economy Spring Compau}', 25; Racine Engine 
& Machinery Company, 50; Racine General Manufacturing Com- 
pany, 20; Racine Foundry Company, 50; Racine Heel Protector 
Company, 55; Racine Iron & Wire Works, 20; Racine Malleable 
& Wrought Iron Company, 275; Racine Manufacturing Company, 
hardware specialties, 500; Racine Paper Goods Company, 60; 
Racine Shoe Manufacturing Comi)any, 135; Racine Steel Casting 
Company, 50; Racine Trunk Comj)any, 50; Racine Woolen IMills, 
100; Racine-Sattley Company, 500; Secor, M. M., Trunk Company, 
900; Dr. Shoop Laboratories, Inc., 75; Standard Electric Works, 
100; Wisconsin Incubator Company, 100; Steel Shoe Company. 
60; Weber-Baheman Company, 60; E. C. Tecktouius Manufactur- 
ing (\»mpany, 12. 

Since this time there have been added many other industrial 
concerns to Racine's imposing list of manufactures, among them 
being: The Racine Electric Company, American Mangle & 
Roller Comi^any, Racine Tool & Machine Company, Racine Trav- 



eling Bag Coinpniiy, Kar-ine Pnttyless Window Company, Racine 
Auto Tire Company, Racine Carriage Company, Racine Hosiery 
Company, Perfex Radiator Company, Levine Gear Company, 
Ajax Auta Parts Company, Christensen Silo Company, Common 
Sense Trunk Company, George Gorton Machine Company, E. R. 
Harding (\im])any, Hilker Brothers Brick Manufactory, Ironclad 
1 iicubator Company, Jorgenson-Clausen-Krogh Company. 


Manufactni'ing in the Town of Burlington had its inception 
in 1836, when Moses Smith and Sanniel Vaughan erected a saw- 
mill and attached to it a mill for grinding wheat. This was the 
start of the later stone mill. A large trade was done early in the 
career of this mill with Scotland and Germany. A Mr. Perkins 
erected a woolen mill in 1843 on the bank of Fox River. In the 
year 1852 Jacol) Muth erected a large brewery. It was a frame 
i)uilding and cost $2,500.00. He ran it until 1872, when he tore 
it down and built a lirick and stone malt-house, which he operated 
until 1877, when he sold out to the People's State Bank. This 
lu'ewery, with many additions and modern improvements, is now 
the Finke-Uhen Brewing Company. The old wooden mills are 
now engaged in the manufacture of horse blankets exclusively. 
The Wisconsin Condensed Milk Company is a leading factory of 
IJui'lington, with B. and Charles R. McCanna as the officers. Here 
there are also a l)rass foundry, a brick and tile works, vending 
machine factory and several smaller mills. 

At the former Town of Western Union, the Brown Corliss 
I*]ngine Company of Milwaukee erected a large factory in 1901. 
Julius Wechselberg was president of this company and W. S 
Whiting, seci-etary. The name of the town was at that time 
changed to Corliss. Three days after the survey the plat was 
filed in the office of the register of deeds. However, for many 
reasons, the undertaking at Corliss was not a success and a re- 
currence of revei'ses caused the company to abandon the plant. 

View I'l'um tup uf Krit- Street Hil), showing Kt'ain elevator erected in IStlT aiiii destroyeti by tire in 1HS2. 




Ill all new st'ttlcmciits in this country the first thiiii; to he 
(lone after the pioneer had put up his crude log cabin and ])lanted 
a patch of ground with a little corn and potatoes, was to mai'k out 
and construct a roadway to his neighbor's, if he was lucky enough 
to have one, and then, with that neighbor and others, build a 
temporary road to the nearest market town. For he must have 
])rovisions for himself and family and a place to market the pro- 
ductions of his farm in the new settlement. This may be said 
to l)e the beginning of transportation facilities in this great 
country. As has been clearly presented by the late Judge Dyer, 
all the land within the limits of Racine was left by Nature cov- 
ered with a dense forest. The lowland just west of the river and 
bordering it was covered with maple trees in 1837, and converted 
into a sugar camp. It was the abiding place of deer and prairie 
wolves. These and other obstacles were but a part of the diffi- 
culties overcome by the frontiersman, and amidst them he built 
ills home, cleared and cultivated his farm, built highways and 
blazed the trail over which thousands of hardy men and women 
traveled to the new country and made this county and city what 
they are today, among the richest and most prosperous localities 
in the State of Wisconsin. 

A class of people settled in Racine County that was frugal, 
industrious and possessed of heaven-born talent for getting 
somewhere. This ])e()j)le prospered, taking from the rich lands 
bounteous annual crops. Others ai)plied their time and talents 
ill fashioning the raw material furnished by the husbandman, 
liunbei-man, miner, and the like, into various useful articles for 
the markets, and to get them there the roads, and the rivers and 
the lake, were utilized. Soon came the railroad t(. com])ete with 
that great natural highway. Lake Michigan, and for a time it 


was a struggle. But eventually the steam horse on his steel-laid 
road won out. 


The Racine, Janesvillc & ^lississii^pi was the first railroad in 
Racine; it was finished to Burlington in 1855, and the settlers in 
that village organized a celeliration of the event and the mayor 
and other officers of the City of Racine were invited guests on 
that occasion. George Wustum was Racine's chief executive at 
that time and he and others made speeches felicitating the citi- 
zens of Burlington on the completion of the road to that place. 

In those days it was the Racine, Janesville & Mississippi 
Railroad, then the Racine & Mississippi, later the Western Union, 
and still later the Southwestern Division of the Chicago, Milwau- 
kee & St. Paul System. About the year 1855 the railroad com- 
pany established at Racine extensive car and machine shops, 
which were located north of the tracks, between Campbell and 
Howe Streets. Hundreds of freight cars and dozens of passenger 
coaches were made there, also some locomotives. It should also 
be stated that the car and engine repair work for the railroad 
was done in these shops and a large crew of men was employed. 
General offices for the road were opened in Racine, in the old 
McClurg Building, now the Secor Block, corner of Main and 
Third Streets. But when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway Company purchased the property the general offices 
were transferi-ed to Milwaukee. 

When railroading was in its infancy in Racine the engines 
all were w^ood burners, with big, flaring smokestacks, and it re- 
quired a tremendous lot of w(»od to snp]ily all the locomotives on 
the road with fuel. Racine being a terminal point, a large supply 
of wood was always kept on hand here, and a wood-yard, contain- 
ing thousands of coi'ds of hardwood of all kinds was located on 
the south side of the river, on the ground occupied by a warehouse 
of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company. The wood piles 
were invariably eight feet high and the yard was a great stamp- 
ing gi'ound for the ])oys of the neighborhood. They learned to 
select a sli])pci-y chn stick by looking at the end and when a good 
stick was located it was gotten out and stri]i])ed of its bark, even 
if it became necessary to throw the whole i)ile down to get at it. 
There were sometimes from fifty to one hundred of these piles 
of wood, each of which was several hundred feet in length. 

View taken in May, 1915. 

Lake Shdrt- Railroatl Trestle bi;i t in . ^..4 to carry the railroad now the C. & N. W. In 1S75-6 the 
trestle was filled in with earth and an iron bridge erected over the river. In 1910 the bridge and fill wei*e 
double-tracked and the present structure erected. 


Switc'hiiij,^ ill the yards of the iviiliMad cdinpany was done 
by horse power, and it is remembered that .John Cary, who after- 
wards became ehief of jjolice, did the switchinu; with his own 
tcaiii, one ear at a time. It is not reeaUed just how hnig this 
[iriniitive method of switching ears was employed, but it was 
for a time adopted. The locomotives in use were not very power- 
ful, or at least they seem not to have been, as one recalls them 
and malvcs a comparison with one of the leviathans of the present 
day, and they used frequently to get stalled in trying to pull ten 
()!• a dozen cars of comparatively small dimensions up the grade 
to the Junction, in which case they would be obliged to back 
down, get up a good head of steam, and try it again. Sometimes 
it was necessary to split the train into small sections in order to 
negotiate this grade. But, to give the old "bulljines" their due, 
it is matter for mention that the line between Racine and Corliss 
— then and until quite recently known as Western Union Junc- 
tion — was a rough one on which to ride and when a train was 
enroute to the Mississippi River it would be compelled to stop 
a half dozen times to take on wood. 


The Racine & Mississippi Railroad depot at the foot of IMain 
Street, long since replaced by another, was built about 1855, and 
was used for the accommodation of passengers and the receipt 
I if freight. Its site is "made land," likewise all of the land north 
of Second Street to the river channel. 

It was during the year 1854 that the first locomotive for the 
road was landed at the railroad dock from a lake steamer and 
transferred to the tracks of the company. This was a small 
engine, called "The Tiger,' which was joined the same day by 
another, the "Beloit," which came over the tracks of the North- 
western. A small round-house, to shelter these monsters (?) of 
iron and wood, was erected just west of the old station near the 
dock at the end of Wisconsin Street. 

An old tannery, which stood on the east bank of the river, 
about where the line of State Street now is, was purchased by 
the railroad company when it got the right of way, and was util- 
ized for some time as a car shop, where several flat cars were built 
for transporting rails and other railroad materials, which arrived 
at the railroad dock bv wav of the lake. 


The depot l)uilt by this coiupauy at the foot of Wisconsin 
Street in 1854 was used for general purposes for some time. The 
site on which it stands is also "made land." At the time of the 
first settlement of Kacine, the hill that follows the bank of the 
river, from the end of Park Avenue northward, was well covered 
with a growth of timber, mostly cedar, and maintained its height 
of about thirty feet all the way to Second Street and swung 
around at about that point to the lake shore, to the east side of 
Chatham Street, and continued south. 


One of the greatest systems of railroads in this or any other 
coinitry is the Chicago & Northwestern, which by one name and 
another came into possession of roads building in the early '50s 
and, in 1855, adopted its present corporate title. In 1853 the 
(ireen Bay, Milwaukee & Chicago Railroad Company was char- 
tered to build a road from Milwaukee to the state line of Illinois, 
to connect with a road from Chicago, called the Chicago & Mil- 
waul^ee Road. Both lines were completed in 1855 and run in 
connection until I860, when they Avere consolidated under the 
name of the "Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad Company." To 
prevent its falling into the hands of the Milwaulvce & St. Paul, 
the Chicago & Northwestern secured it by perpetual lease. May 
2, 186(j, and it is now operated as its Chicago Division. So that it 
was but a short time after the Racine & Mississippi Road was run- 
ning its trains in and out of Racine until the Chicago & North- 
western was doing likewise. The road enters the county on 
Section 1, Caledonia Townshi]), and running along the lake leaves 
it at Section thirty-one, Mount Pleasant 'I'ownship. The }>assen- 
ger and freight traffic on this road is inunense and to go into 
details would be confusing — and interesting to but a few. Suffice 
it to mciilion that about twent_v trains for passengers alone go 
each way in and out of Racine daily, and the service, both through 
and local, cannot be surpassed. A handsome and modern depot 
stands on West State Stre(^t and extends to the next sti'cct on 
the south. 

The Chicago iS: Milwaukee Electric h'ailway, which has been 
in existence a munber of years, runs eighteen i)assenger trains 
from Racine to Evanston daily, there connecting with the Chi- 
cago' ti'ains on the elevated railroad, and the same service is <riven 




fi'diii K'aciiic t<i .Milwaukee. The M ilwaukee-Racmc-Kenosha 
Hleetrie Road runs passenger trains from Haeine to Milwaukee 
every lioui' and from Racine to Keuoslia there are twenty trains 
a (lay. Many trains cm the Milwaukee enter and depart from 
Racine daily, for points in ahnost every direction, and in all the 
passenger trains leaving Racine daily total about one hundred 
and foi-ty. 


Before the da\-s of railroads and the natural thoroughfares 
wei'c in the making, Root River and its outlet — Lake Michigan 
— were of vastly more importance to the industrial and commer- 
cial interests of this comnnniity than the present generation can 
I'ealize. When the pioneers came, Root River looked good to 
them and its possibilities were a great inducement for them to 
remain. A fine stream with an entrance to the lake that made 
foi' a desirable harbor, it presented to the future builders of this 
splendid manufacturing city all that Nature could do in giving 
to mankind a roadway to the markets of the world. 

Vessels i)lying on Lake Michigan touched at this ])ort as 
soon as the settlement was established and a few houses were in 
evidence, Mrs. T). H. Flett, in her very valuable monograph on 
"Land-marks and Early History" of Racine states: "A. G. 
Knight came to Racine in 1836, walking all the way from Chi- 
cago. His family came later in a sailing vessel. On account of 
the sailors' fear of the Indians, they refused to bring their yawls 
to the shore and when wading distance was reached Mr. Knight's 
luothei- and wife were carried ashore on the shoulders of the 
men." This crude method of "delivery" was the only one for 
some time after the town had commenced to grow; but the infer- 
ence is not to be di'awn that all i)ersons coming by way of the 
lake were carried to the land. Most of the cargoes were loaded 
and unloaded, however, by such primitive means and the need of 
a hai-l)or soon made itself felt. 

According to the late Judge Charles E. Dyer, as early as the 
year ^H'^(') a survey of the har])or had been made, for which the 
citizens paid $100. "Subsequently the mouth of the river was 
dug out on a straight cut and the peo]ile of Racine assessed their 
property 15/' to build piers and to keep the harbor open, so that 
lighters could come in. The assessment was made at a })ul)lic 
court-liouse meeting, and Levi Blake is remembered to have said 


at that lueetiiig: "It'll uuly cost us another lot; let us have a 

All steamboats in the early days came to anchor and landed 
passengers and freight on scows, that would take out a load of 
wood for the vessel. At times the mouth of the river became too 
shallow to permit the scows drawing two and a half feet of water 
to pass out, and then men and teams with scrapers would go at 
it and make a sufficient channel. This was a crude way of doing 
things, indeed, but effectual. And how vessels were loaded is 
best described by C. L. Fellows, who some years ago wrote th\is 
of his early experiences: "The lightering of grain was done on 
wood scoAvs. There were large hoppers built on the docks oppo- 
site the warehouse with spouts in them, with a bag nailed over 
each spout. A lioy standing on the dock held a bag on the spout, 
which Avhen filled would be taken away onto the scow; a smart 
boy could 'hold sp(^ut' for at least eight men off bearing the grain. 
The bags mqyc not generally laid, but set on end and as soon as 
the scow was loaded she was taken out to the vessel at the pier 
end or at anchor in the lake and another scow was put under the 
hopper. When a large quantity of grain was to be lightered there 
were three or four scows in use, so there was one at the vessel 
and one at the hopper all the time. My father was largely en- 
gaged in the wood business and had several scows, and he was 
always called on for some of them when there was any wheat 
loading to he done; and I generally got the job of 'holding spout'." 

The first effort in the way of building jjiers commenced in 
the year 1840 and continued in a slipshod manner until 1844, 
up to which time the citizens had spent about $6,000. The work 
was all of a tem})orary nature, owing to the studied neglect of 
Congress to consider the needs of the port. The town was stead- 
ily growing and sliippiiig was on the increase. A good and ])er- 
manent harbor was an imperative necessity. Finally, on the 
16th of March, 1844, a meeting was held at the court-house, when 
a subscription of $10,000 was raised to build a dock that would 
be of some real use and permanency. On the 17th the first piles 
were di'ivcii for the improvement with a hand machine. This 
Avas the actual beginning. The people issued bonds for 25,000 
dollars to carry on the harbor work and then, when the General 
(iovernment awakened to the fact that Racine intended having 
her wants supplied even if they were paid for out of her citizens' 






private purses, the munificent sum of $12,500 was appropriated 
for work on its own water way; not, however, until the patience 
of Racine had been fully tested. In the years following Congress 
has lieen more alive to the importance of this port and more 
liberal in its allowance for its improvement. Hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars have been appropriated and today Racine's lake 
and river fronts show what has been done for them by the hand 
of man. In the heyday of her maritime prosperity railroad traffic 
was in its infancy, and in fair competition could not meet lake 
rates. Fifty years ago freight transportation by way of the Great 
Lakes was a tremendous business, most of which was done in 
sail vessels, although there were many side-wheel and propeller 
steamers. At present the only bulky freight coming into Racine 
l)y water is coal, which is brought in barges of capacity of from 
one thousand to five thousand tons. The total number of sail 
craft that have been owned in Racine is more than three hundred. 
Not a single one hails from this port now, the last vessel — the 
.1. B. Newland — having been sold in the summer of 1914 by her 
owner, Captain C. Nalied. 


One of the men prominent in shii)ping circles in and about 
Racine in the halcyon days was the late A. P. Button, who often 
wrote for publication of his exj)eriences and remembrances of 
the times when Racine was a very busy and important inland 
seaport, some of his communications to the press having been 
;i])pended for the edification of many interested in the subject. 
Writing in 1897, he said: 

"From Chicago north there was no village at all initil yoii 
reached Waukegan, and that was a mere 'dot and go.' Then, 
fifteen miles further, you would come to Southport, quite a smart 
little village, where one could get a good dinner, after which you 
went north ten miles and stood upon the spot of all others on 
the west shore of the most beautiful lake that man's eyes ever 
discovered. Here was a small band of brothers, banded together 
in pioneer love that seemed to be inspired. The members of a 
Methodist Church could show no more brotherly love for each 
other. Here could be found Captain Knapp, the master of the 
revenue cutter, when the Whig Party was in power, but he had 
to walk the plank and give up the compass to Captain Bobbing. 


Then a Dcniocrnt took the chair. Doctor Oary, the standing 
applicant for the jjostoffice, was the best posted man in the North- as to the politics of our country and state. He went to every 
steamer that landed and inquired of every man that got off the 
boat whei'e he came from and whether he Avas or was not a Demo- 
crat. If the man was a Democrat nothing was too good for him, 
but if he were a Wliig or Abolitionist all conversation was at an 
end. It was Democrats he was looking for." 

At another time Mr. Dutton embellished the pages of Ra- 
cine's history with this bit of maritime gossip, which is quite 
pat for this purpose: "The report of 1840 shows the imports to 
have been $599.44 and the exports $5,750. I think this was wrong 
bookkeeping and that the imports should be changed to exports, 
for I find importations in 1842: 175 tons of merchandise, 2,000 
barrels of salt, 2,423,000 feet of lumber, 1,405 biuidles of shingles, 
850 tons household furniture, 350 tons of machinery and farm- 
ing tools. 

"The pcoph' had connnenced to build a i)ermanent harbor, 
and up to this time they had already exi)ended in its construc- 
tion $43,352. Congress had apiiropriated $12,500, making a total 
tor harbor purposes $55,852, and yet no outside bridge. The piier 
was the stopping place for all of the lake steamers and all steam- 
ers then called at Racine. The river was adapted for a tirst- 
class harbor. A good channel could be made up to Cedar Bend, 
nearly two miles, and as the business should require the channel 
could be dredged. The river banks did not wash down much, if 
any, and the trouble about tilling up was at the mouth of the river. 

"You will often hear people talk about the river running into 
the lake at Sixth Street, near where the light house was those 
days. But that is all wrong. The natural moutli of Root River 
always was near where it is now, or a little south of the present 
mouth. At that time, when a heavy blow from the northwest 
caiuc up, the mouth of the river would bar up so that the writer 
often crossed on the l)ar without wetting his feet. The water 
inside the bai' would rise until it broke out and a rush of current 
would often cut a channel six or eight feet deep. 

"As llir hai'boi- ])iers were put in they formed a current 
I'unning south, which carried away the beach that had accumu- 
lated. When the first plat was made, by Moses Vilas, I think, 
the map showed Michigan Street as far north as Second Street, 


Estalilisheil in l-<:i9. 

Located on lake bank, twenty feet south of 
iouth line of Seventh Street. 


and a tier of lots outside of Michigan Street. These lots and the 
street disappeared year by year as the harbor piers were ex- 
tended. At this time in several places the sand beach seems to 
he coming back, and the question will arise as to who owns the 
jiroperty. The great washing of the banks in front of Racine was 
on the north. Early in the '40s the lake came up quite near to 
the Lathrop brickyard and \\henev(u- a northeaster came, the seas 
would roll west clear to North Main Street. As soon as the north 
pier was put in a sand beach began to appear and from year to 
year the beach has increased to several acres. 

"At the time the Ward Line of steamers, the 'Pacific' and 
'Sam Ward,' ran between New Buffalo and Chicago via Milwau- 
kee and Racine. Captain Cooper was master of the 'Pacific' 
On one occasion, when the steamer was loaded to the guards and 
having on board an immense crowd of passengers, she encoun- 
tered a terribly heavy sea and the rudder chains parted. The 
steamer fell into the trough of the sea and it seemed as if she was 
doomed. Captain Cooper called his crew together and asked 
which one would volunteer to be lowered over the stern and make 
an effort to mend the chain. No one said a word. Captain 
Cooper then adjusted a rope around his body and, taking several 
turns around the deck rail, gave the mate orders how to lower 
him into the boiling sea, with the result that when he was again 
hoisted on deck the chain was mended. He then mounted the 
I)ilot house, unconcerned, brought the bow of the boat to the sea, 
and went on to the port of destination, without any loss save 
that of time. Captain Cooper was lionized from one end of the 
lake to the other f(»r this brave and fearless chance taken to save 
his passengers and boat. 

"Capt. John Printerville was the first man to pilot a sailing 
vessel into the harboi-, which at that time had scarcely any piers. 
Our people were so delighted to see a vessel in port that they 
gave the captain a great ovation, while some one made him the 
l)resent of a city lot on the North Side. In after years, however, 
the captain could not find anything on record to show that he 
was ever a real estate owner in Racine. Captain Printerville 
became known far and wide on the whole chain of lakes and 
<dways was a great friend of Racine. 

"Solon Cather piloted the first steamer that ever entered 
Root River. It was the Chesapeake, Captain Kelsey, master. 


At the time, which was July 14, 1844, the vessel had for passen- 
gers bound for Racine, William H. Lathrop and wife and Chaun- 
cey Lathrop. The Chesapeake was the first steamboat to enter 
this or any other artificial harbor within the limits of the State 
of Wisconsin. Captain Kelse_v had written ahead that if the 
weather was fair when he arrived he would bring the steamer 
into port, and everybody consequently was on the lookout for 
the boat. She did not heave in sight until Sunday morning, just 
as people had gone to church. The first notice given was the 
booming of cannon on the lake front at Sixth Street, and ten 
minutes later no one was left in the church except the preacher. 
Everybody went down to see the steamer Chesapeake and for 
the whole day all forgot that it was the Sabbath, and many for- 
got where to find their homes. The steward of the boat had 
settled as to what kind of people were biiilding uj) Racine, and 
so he had closed the regular bar and opened up one in a wash tub, 
that he had filled full of something that made a fellow's head 
crack in a very short time. Some of the boys did not get over 
the celebration for several days. The Chesapeake was a fine boat 
and she and her master were great favorites in Racine." 


"Marine law was discussed during the long winter months 
at the Racine Exchange, then kept by the Raymonds, where there 
seemed to be an extra tribunal on marine laws. Many vessels 
laid up at the port and many of the captains wintered here and 
boarded at the Exchange. The 'court's' session lasted from the 
close of navigation until the Mackinaw Straits opened in the 
spring. Jack Brown seemed to be the chief justice. At all events, 
he knew not only every point of the compass on water but he 
knew just what the rights of a sailor were. 

"In the spring of 1849 or '50, this court had just cleaned up 
a full docket. 'Chief Justice' Brown had been busy all winter 
and his com-t had sat every day. Along towards spring the docket 
was well cleaned up and then the crowd discussed the subject 
of wlien the Straits would ojx'ii; what the freights would open 
at, and which Racine vessel would ai-rive at Buffalo first. Well, 
th(> writer had an interest in the schooner Tempest and he thought 
he had about as fast a master as was on the lakes, and so he bet 
$200 on tlie Tempest outsailing the fleet from Racine to Buffalo. 

(Three miles from shore I 


Tlu> Tempest, Outward Bound, Cherokee and two or three other 
vessels were loaded and the masters had all sails set ready to 
hoist. The mates were told to keep the crews in sight night and 
day while they, the masters, would look out for news of the 
Straits being open. 

"The 'court' held that when a man had once been appointed 
master of a craft the owner had nothing to do or say about the 
vessel until she laid uj) in the fall and that the master was the 
sole director of the vessel in and out of port. The masters de- 
clared that they had the right to insure, hold all funds, give no 
trip sheet, or send in any statements until they settled up after 
the vessel went into winter quarters. They passed on the value 
and speed of craft, and thousands of dollars were wagered dur- 
ing the winter months, but no money was put up. This 'court' 
sat regularly each winter from about 1845 to 1855, and as Racine 
then had no place of amusement, the bar-room of the Racine 
Exchange was as full as the courts now are when one of the star 
cases is up in a justice court. 

"At last the news came that the Straits were clear of ice, 
and at once all the sails on the vessels went up, and with a fair 
wind they were soon out of sight of port. Within twenty-four 
hours of sailing a heavy storm came on, fearful in character. 
Snow squalls were frequent all the day and fears for the safety 
of the fleet were felt by owners of the vessels. When the storm 
abated news of the loss of the vessels came in and it was a fearful 
I'cport of the loss of life as well as of property. The Outward 
Bound had gone to the bottom with all hands on board. The 
Tempest was ashore on the Sleeping Bear, and what had be- 
come of the other vessels the writer has forgotten. But he recol- 
lects most distinctly that the Tempest was not the first vessel 
into Buffalo, and he also remembers that the Tempest threw over- 
board all the wheat, except 2,400 bushels, in order to get off and 
afloat, and that it cost the owners of the vessel nearly $4,000." 


The history of light houses in and about this port is inti- 
mately connected with that of the shipping and of the city itself. 
The light-house keepers were of a retiring avocation if not of 
that disposition, and their compensation was far from commen- 
surate with the responsibilities assumed. The first man to follow 


this calling' in Racine was Amaziali Stchhins, who, on August 31, 
1839, was i)hu-('d in charge of the Root River light house, which 
was the first light house established in the port of Racine. It 
was located (in the shore of the lake about twenty feet south of 
the south line of Seventh Street and almost exactly at the edge 
of the shore as it is at ])resent, for at this point of the shore line 
the bank has not receded more than twenty oi- thirty feet. The 
light house was a round tower affaii', built of brick, made by 
Benjamin Pi'att. who was the first to engage in that industry in 
Racine. Tlie walls wei'e two feet ten inches thick at tlu' bottom 
and two feet at the top. Its outside diameter was sixteen feet 
eight inches at the base, and nine feet at the to]). To the light 
from the ground measured thirty-four feet, and over all the struc- 
ture was forty feet high. Within was a spiral stairway, lighted 
by three windows at intervals from bottom to top. This structure 
and the land on which it stood was sold in 1866 to the firm of 
Blake & Elliott and finally passed into the hands of the junior 
member of the concern, James T. KUiott, who demolished it in 
1876 and used the brick in the erection of a house that now stands 
on the corner of Lake Avenue and Seventh Street. The keepers 
were Amaziah Stebbins. August 31, 1839; Capt. John T. Tro- 
bridge, February 2, 1846; Abner Rouse, May 8, 1849; Isaac B. 
Gates, April, 1853; John Fancher, March, 1857; Milton Moore, 
March, 1861. 

The (Jovermuent built a light house cm the north piei' in 
1866, the material being bi-ick, and placed a fixed white light 
in its tower. James McCiinty was the first keeper. In 1903 the 
light was removed to a steel tower at the end of the pier, which 
is forty feet high, and a fixed red light installed. The second 
keeper was Capt. Lan'v l\asson; then came (icorge Ltirson and 
Mai'tin Knudson. 

The Wind Pinnt or North light house was built in 1880 and 
cost about $100,000. It has a white light, which flashes its warn- 
ings and assurances of watchfulness at intervals of every min- 
ute, and its fifth-order red light is arranged so that it may cover 
tlie Racine Reef. For foggy weather a siren lun'n of latest de'V'ice 
is at the hand of the keeper. A tower for the main light shoots 
up in the air 112 feet and the red light is up 104 feet. Capt. 
Julius Peterson, in charge. 




Two miles east of the harbor is the Racine Reef crib or li,tz;ht 
house, the initial steps for the bnildini;- of which were taken in 
1899. The crib and pier were square in shape, built of brick 
and cement. I^pon this fomidation a skeleton steel tower was 
I'l'ccted, at the top of which was a small deck for a lantern, carry- 
ing three cylindrical gas tanks, all above the water fifty-seven 
f(M't, and costing- about $40,000. This lit^lit in course of time 
proved of but little force in great emergencies, so that in 1905 
tile present light house was constructed at a great outlay of labor 
and money. 

A few years ago, owing to the great danger to shipi)ing that 
might l)e entailed by currents and seas running into the river 
during storms, the federal authorities built a breakwater out- 
side the harbor piers. On this structure a red light Avas placed 
thirty feet above the lake level, on a post. Since that time a 
tower was erected and with the pier light a range of light is 
formed for vessels approaching this port. 


An interesting phase of the development of lake ship]iing 
facilities in Racine was the building of the two bridge piers that 
wei'c ])ut in at the foot of Third and Fourth Streets, in connec- 
tion with warehouses at their shore ends for the receipt and 
storage of freight. The first one was built at Third Street about 
1850 by Gilbert Knapp, Wm. A. Murphy and A. P. Button, under 
the firm name of Knapp, Murphy & Button, and extended into 
the lake about four or five hundred feet. Two rows of piles were 
driven into the lake bottom, and timbered and planked in the 
stanchest manner and tracks with band rails laid, on which cars 
for the transi:)ort of freight between warehouse and ship were run. 

When these piers were projected, ship captains were skep- 
tical as to their ability to stand the strain of a boat's line in a 
lake swell, but were convinced later by demonstration that the 
piers were all right. 

Of course they could be made no use of except when the 
lake was comparatively quiet; when a gale was blowing, a ship 
was obliged to lie off shore, in deep and safe waters; there were 
other times when it was unsafe to make the pier, but passengers 
and freight could be unloaded onto scows and taken ashore in 
'■omparative safety. 

I'lioli. Iiunisheil l.y Hillintrs 




The Counties of Racine, Kenosha and Walworth compose 
the first judicial district and it is one of the original six circuits 
formed and defined by the constitution (.)f the state in 1848. At 
that time it was ('omi)osed of the Counties of Racine (which then 
included the County of Kenosha), Walworth, Rock and Green. 
Its limits remained as fixed by the constitution until the year 
1871, when the twelfth circuit was formed and the Counties of 
Rock and Green were detached from the first circuit and placed 
in the new circuit. 

The circuit courts have original jurisdiction in all matters 
civil and criminal within the state not excepted in the constitution 
and not thereafter prohibited by law; appellate jurisdiction over 
all inferior courts and tribunals; a supervisory control over the 
same, with the power to issue writs, such as writs of habeas 
corpus, inandanuis, quo warranto, certiorari, and others neces- 
sary to carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees, and 
i;ive them a general supervisory power over inferior coui'ts and 

The first judge of the circuit court was Edward V. Whiton, 
who served as such from August, 1848, to June, 1853. During 
tliat time the circuit judges constituted the Supreme as well as 
Circuit Court. The separate Supreme Court was organized June 
1. 1853, and Judge Whiton was elected chief justice, where he 
served with eminent distinction until his death in April, 1859. 

Wyman Spooner served for part of the year 1853, after the 
separate organization of the Supreme Court. Judge Spooner 
was a native of Wooster, Mass., where he was born July 12, 1795. 
At fourteen years of age he went to Vermont and became an 
apprentice in a printing office. Some seven years later he com- 
menced the publication of a weekly newspaper, which he con- 
tinued for nearly twelve years. He then began the study of 


law and was admitted to the bar in 1833. Nine years later he 
I'ciiioved to Wisconsin and in 1843 settled in Ellvhorn, Walworth 
Connty, Avhere he resided until the time of his death. In 1846 
he was elected judge of probate, which he continued to be imtil 
the Probate was merged into the County Court. In 1853 he was 
appointed circuit judge, which position he held until the elec- 
lioii of Judge Doolittle. He was elected to the Assembly in 
1850, 1851 and 1857, and was. during the term of 1857, s])eak('r 
iij' that liody. He was elected state senator for the term coniju'is- 
ing 1862 and 1863, was president of the Senate during the latter- 
session and became lieutenant governor when Mr. Salomon 
succeeded to the executive chair. In 1863, '65 and '67, he was 
elected lieutenant governor and by virtue of that office presided 
aver the Senate six consecutive years. 

James II. Doolittle, of Racine, who administered the first 
circuit as successor to Judge Spooner, remained in office until 
elected to the United States Senate some three years later. Judge 
Doolittle was born in New York State, January 3, 1815, grad- 
uated from Ceneva College, New York, studied law in New York 
(^ity and was admitted to the bar of that state in 1837. There 
he also practiced, serving as district attorney of Wyoming 
County for a number of years. He removed to Wisconsin in 1851. 
and settled at Racine, where he contimu'd in a<'tive practice until 
elected judge of the first circuit, in 1853. He was a member of 
the "peace congress" in 1861 and was re-elected to the Senate 
in 1863, his term ending in 1869. At the close of his senatorial 
career Judge Doolittle entered upon the practice of his profes- 
sion at Chicago, although still continuing his residence at Racine. 
He was not only one of the distinguished men of the State of 
Wisconsin, but his reputation was nation-wide. Judge Doolittle 
stood as Racine's most cniincnt citizen, and his memory is cher- 
ished in its archives. 

C. M. Baker succeeded .Judge Doolittle on the bi'nch of the 
first judicial circuit and administered the high function one year. 
lie was a native of New York, where lie was boi'ii October 18, 
1804. He began the study of law in the office of S. G. Himtington, 
at Troy, New York, Avith whom he remained until his admission 
to the bar some three years later. After practicing for some time 
in N(!w York he moved west in 1838, locating at Geneva Lake, 
Walworth Comity, Wisconsin. In 1839 he was appointed district 





K^''';-*'"' , 'S 



nil. .1. O. MEACHUM 



attorney of the county; was a nicnihci' ol' the territoi'ial council 
foi' the Counties of Wahvortli and K'ock for four years, com- 
mencing in 1842, and was also a delegate to the first constitutional 
convention in 1846. In 1848 he Avas ap])ointed by the governor 
as one of the three commissioners to revise and codify the statutes 
of Wisconsin, and in March, 1849, was elected by the Legislature 
1o superintend the printing of that vohnne in New York. He was 
appointed to succeed Judge Doolittle in 1856, l)ut declined re- 
election upon the expiration of the term. During the Civil War 
he was judge and advocate under Provost Marshal I. M. Bean. 
in the first district of Wisconsin. Judge Baker died at Geneva 
ill January, 1873. 

The next judge of the first circuit was John M. Keep, who 
remained in office two years. His successor was David Noggle, 
of Janesville, who having completed Judge Keep's unexi)ired 
tei-m was re-elected to that position. Judge Noggle was born in 
Franklin County, Pennsylvania, October 19, 1809. He was ad- 
mitted to practice by the Su])reme Court of Illinois in 1838, and 
in the following year located at Beloit, Wisconsin, where he en- 
gaged in the practice of his profession. In 1846, he was elected 
a member of the first constitutional convention from Rock County, 
and in 1854 was elected a member of the Assembly from the City 
of Janesville, to which place he had removed in 1850. To this 
]>osition he was re-elected in 1857. In 1860 he was appointed 
chief justice of the territory of Idaho, which position after five 
years of service he was ccmipelled to resign on account of failing 
iiealth. He died at Janesville in 1879. 

William P. Lyon, who eventually sat on the supreme bench, 
succeeded Judge Noggle in the first circuit, continuing in that 
position for nearly six years. He was followed by Rol)ert Hark- 
ness, for four years; Ira Payne, for pmi of one year; John T. 
Wentworth, foi- eight years; John B. Winslow, seven years, and 
Fi-ank M. Fish and E. B. Belden, sketches of whom will be found 
in the second volume of this work. 


But little, if anything, of real interest relative to the early 
courts and cases of Racine Comity is of record, hence that phase 
of the subject can occupy but small s])ace in tliis chapter. Dur- 
ing the territoi'ial i)erio(l the office of judge was, at best, by no 


means a sinec-ure, the iiuiiieruus and diversified conditions aris- 
ing, as is generally the case in the opening up of a new country, 
giving rise to much litigation. This created an endless amount 
of work for the judiciary during the earlier period of its exist- 
ence, it being almost impossible to estimate the length of time 
during which the courts woiild remain in session. This "is evi- 
denced in the fact that during the year 1842 the first and third 
districts were open during the greater part of the year." As a 
single instance we may refer to the records of the thii'd district, 
which show that no less than 8,000 cases were disposed of from 
1842 until the closing of the territorial government. Criminal 
cases also were particularly numerous during that period. But 
the local records are too obscui-c to warrant a detailed account 
of any of the proceedings. 

It is knoA\n that Judge William C. Frazier convened the first 
session of court in Racine and Judge Charles E. Dyer is authority 
for the statement that "at the July term, 1838, of the District 
Court, Judge Frazier presiding, the court sat but four days, and 
only four days had been occu])ied by court in the three terms held 
chn-ing eighteen months." Who were the first jurors and first 
litigants cannot be said, as their identity is lost with the missing 
records containing their names. 


As related by Judge Dyer, the first controversy brought to 
an issue in a court of law in Racine County grew out of a squirrel 
hunt. "Norman Clark and jVfarshall M. Strong, as the respective 
leaders, had chosen sides. On one side Avere Mr. Clark, Doctor 
(^ary, iMigene Gillespie, and others; and on the other side were 
Mr. Strong, Charles Smith, Joseph Knapp, and others. It was 
arranged that all kinds of game should be hunted — a squirrel 
to count a certain numlx'r, a muskrat another, a deer head count- 
ing three hundred, and a live wolf one thousand. They were to 
obtain their trojJiies by any means, foul or fair. Clark and 
(Jillcspic licard of a deer hunter on Pleasant Prairie who had a 
good collection of heads. Appropriating a fine horse owned by 
one Schuyler Mattison, who was a sti'anger in town, they trav- 
ersed the snow drifts, found the hunter, and obtained their troph- 
ies. Meanwhile, Mr. Strong's party had heard of a live wolf in 
Chicago. It was sent for. Its transportation was secured in a 

t'hoto furnished by Billings 

Pioneer of Racine 


stage sleigh. Hut, while at a stopping place at Will's tavern a 
party of sailoi-s with one Captain Smith at their head came out 
from Southport, and Captain Sniitli killed the wolf with a bottle 
of gin. Meanwhile, also, Mr. Strong went to JNIilwaukee and got a 
sleigh load of muskrat noses, which outcounted everything. The 
squirrel hunt was broken up. Mr. Clark had ruined Mr. Matti- 
son's horse and had to pay seventy-five dollars damages, and Mr. 
Strong brought suit against Captain Smith for killing the wolf 
with the gin l)ottle. Norman Clark was on the jury. Verdict, 
six cents damages and costs." 

But this had nothing to do with the courts of record. Mar- 
shall M. Strong, however, figured quite largely therein, and this 
is what Judge Dyer had to say of him, in an address before the 
Lawyers' Club of Racine, May 7, 1901: 

"As senior at the bar in age and residence stood Marshall M. 
Strong. I wish you could have known him. He was an ideal 
lawyer and none excelled him in the State of Wisconsin. He was 
tall, though somewhat stooping; slender, and as clear-cut as a 
model in marble. His head and face were as purely intellectual 
as any I ever saw. His great eyes shining out of his pale face 
looked you through and told you that his mind was as clear and 
bright as a polished scimiter. When he made manifest his intel- 
lectual power, in ai'gmnent or in conversation, he made one think 
of the description on the old Spanish sword — 'Never draw me 
without reason, never sheathe me without honor.' No matter what 
demonstration of opposing intellect he encountered, he was as 
cool and inqiassive as a statue. In law and in every department 
of knowledge he was a philosopher. He was quiet, urbane, earnest, 
unimpassioned, and his logic was inexorable. I do not think I 
ever heard him laugh aloud, but his argument was so persuasive 
and his smile and gesture so gentle and winning that when once 
the listener yielded his premises, there was no escape from his 
conclusion. Discomfiture was foreign to him. He nev(>r exhib- 
ited depression in defeat nor exultation in success — a true rule 
of conduct for every lawyer. Once I saw him in a great case, 
when Matthew H. Carpenter swept the covu't room with a tor- 
nado of eloquence. He sat unatfected, self-controlled, betraying 
not an emotion, not a fear — only a cheerful smile of derision. 
Then he arose to reply, as confident as if he were presenting an 
ex parte motion, and before he finished Carpenter had not a leg 


to stand on. lie had an interesting history and heli)ed to I'oiuid 
the state. He came to Racine in Jnne, 1836, and was the first 
lawyci- wlio settled in the county. Although educated in the law, 
he became on his arrival here a merchant and opened a country 
store with Stephen N. Ives, imder the firm name of Strong & 
Tves. But he coupled law with merchandise until he abandoned 
the latter entirely. He tried the first law suit in Racine, whicli 
grew out of a squirrel hunt. In October, 1842, Mr. Strong took 
the editor's chair in the office of the Racine Advocate, which was 
established in that year, and at the head of the columns he put 
the stirring motto, 'Westward the Star of Empire Takes Its Way.' 

"I have said that he was one of the founders of the state. 
An act was passed liy the Territorial Legislature in 1838 to 
establish the University of Wisconsin, Avhich was to be governed 
by a board of visitors, and by the act he was made one of the 
board. He was a member of the Legislature in 1843 and was 
president of the council. Again he was in the Legislatures of 
1845 and 1846, and dm-ing the latter session his dwelling house 
in Racine was destroyed by fire and his wife and two children 
|)erished in the tlames. When this event occurred, both houses 
immediately adjourned, filled with symi)athy and grief on account 
of the great calamity which had befallen their associate. Albert 
G. Knight was the messenger who conveyed the overwhelming 
news to Mr. Strong and Mi". Knight told me that during the entii"e 
journey fi-oni Madison to Racine, which it then took nearly thi'ee 
days to make, Mr. Strong scarcely uttered a word. Mr. Strong 
also was a mendx-r of the convention which convened on October 
5, 1846, for the formation of a state constitution. He very ably 
and strenuously ojiposed some of the ])ropositions embodied in 
that instrument, and after recording his vote against them he 
left tlu' hall of the convention and returned no more. But he 
was heard from later. F'or, when the constitution was submitted 
to the peo]ile he took the stumjt against it and it was defeated 
l)y a majority of over six thousand. 

"It was hardly to he sup])osed that a man with the tempera- 
ment and |ihihisoiilii<-al and judicial (lualities of mind of Mr. 
Strong would excel at nisi jirius Ix'forc a jury, yet he did. He 
was simph' in choice of h-niguage, cogeid in expression and always 
ai'gnmentativc. Thci'cfore jui'ies listened. He had an acute sense 
of riiiht and w roiiti. 1 rcmemhcr that one dav when I was in need 


(if clients, lie cainc td my office and presented me to a very respect- 
able looking man, wearing a fine growth of black whiskei's, who 
had been the victim of an assault at Union ( irove and had thereby 
lost a handful of that handsome adornment. In my hesitation in 
bringing a civil action for damages, lest the case should fall 
within the principle of de mininuis non curat lex, Mr. Strong 
argued with me very earnestly that no greater indignity could 
!)(' offered than for one man to pull another's wdaiskers, and that 
the case was a clear one for damages. So, with courage screwed 
to the sticking point, I brought the suit and it resulted in $150 
damages, fi'om which I got a $25 fee. 

"Mr. Strong was also a man of fine literary tastes and ac- 
complishments. During the Rebellion he wrote letters to Mr. 
Lincoln and Mr. Stanton on the conduct of the war. "When John 
Brown was hung he called a meeting on his own responsibility 
at the old court-house and made a speech in defense and eulogy 
of the old hero. When Ralph Waldo Emerson once delivered a 
lecture in Racine, which now is in his published works, ISIr. Strong 
entertained him, and 1 recalled with pleasure the gratitude T 
felt upon being invited to meet Mr. Emerson. Thus he was a 
patron of literature and friend of humanity, as well as an ex- 
pounder of law. He died in 1864." 


Among the many brilliant men who graced and gave luster 
to the Racine bar was Judge Charles E. Dyer, who was long a 
I'csident of Racine. He was an eminent jurist, a man of irre- 
|)roachable character, of courtly l^earing and of thoughtful kind- 
ness. When but five years old he was brought by his parents to 
Wisconsin from Onondaga County, New York, where he was 
born October 5, 1834. His father, a physician, settled in Bur- 
lington, Racine County, and practiced his profession there a 
numljer of years. Young Dyer acquired the rudiments of an 
education in the district schools of Racine County, and, being of 
a studious disposition, stored his mind with a rich fund of knowl- 
edge that became of great use to him after he had chosen a pro- 
fession. When sixteen he went to Chicago and entered the office 
of the Western Citizen to learn the art preservative. Within a 
year he was in the office of Rice Harper, clerk of the Court of 
(\)mmon Pleas, and for some time thereafter applied himself 


ti) a private (■(uirsc in the classics and higher iiiatheiiiaties. While 
here lie became ac(|naiiited with Ebenezer Lane, tlieii an eminent 
lawyer of Sanduslvv, and turmer judge of the Supreme Court 
of Ohio. Through his influence Dyer began the reading of h^w 
and was admitted to the bar in 1857. He practiced a while in 
the Buckeye State and then, in 1859, returned to Wisconsin and 
located at Racine, which place continued his lidme until he had 
quit his legal practice. After going it alone several years he 
fonned a ]iartnershi]i with Henry T. Fuller, which continued until 
Januar\', 1875. In the years of 18GU and 18(J1 he held the office of 
city attorney and on February 10, 1875, he was appointed judge 
of the United States District ("ourt for the Eastern District of 
Wisconsin. From his first court work, when clerk at Sandusky, 
he evinced a remarkable ability as a reader and a writer of the 
journals of the court and his memory proved so accvn'ate that 
judges and lawyers alike appealed to him for information con- 
cerning the different cases and seldom found him wanting in 
accuracy. During his early years at the bar he was an advocate 
so accom|)lished in oratory, so able in repartee, so erudite, so 
brilliant, few relished him as a foeman. His high ideals of 
morality and integrity, so faithfully carried out in his exem]>lary 
life, gave confidence to all who knew him and no one questioned 
his word any more than they did his ability. To profession and 
client he was faithful, yet so modest in his own estimation of 
himself that when he was elevated to the bench he questioned 
liis ability to hold the high office worthily, and it took the earnest 
and strenuous endeavoi's of his admiring C(aifreres to persuade 
him to accept it. That he gave his best efforts to the faithful 
discharge of the duties of that office the records of the court show. 
His decisions commanded respect and were miiforndy the result 
of his com])relu'nsive knowledge and careful research. As a mas- 
ter of English he had few }>eers. His sentences, clear and stately, 
AV(M'e almost classic in construction, and the rules of perspiciiity 
were never violated. His logic was without fault. His term of 
service covered thirteen years, and his fame, not alone as a great 
lawxcr and judge, but as an upright, honorable citizen, spread 
fai' beyond the confines of his court. Early in the year 1888, 
Judge Dyer resigned from the bench and began his connection 
witli the Northwestei-n Mutual Life Insurance Company, whicli 
continued until his death, November 26, 1905. 


111 Iftol, .lu(l>;(' Dyci' i)rc]»;ii'c(l niid rc.-id a paper (Hi tlic cai'ly 
liciicli and liar dl' IJaciiic (\iiiiity. wliidi was piililislicd in paiii- 
plilct fdnii. Being so well know n Inr accuracy of statement and 
carcriil preparation of details, the reminiscences brought out are 
liiglily prized by the memliers of the bar for their intrinsic inter- 
est and historic value. So iniicli so, in fact, that a large part of 
the pa])er is eml)odied in this ai'ticle. In his exordium he said: 

"It happens that niy rei-dllections of Wisconsin lawyers now 
extends back over a period of forty-two years. At that time and 
long before, many a young lawyer, born and educated in the New 
Kngland and ^Middle States, had inscril)ed upon his professional 
shield that significant word, "Emigravit", and had cast or was 
casting his fortunes in the fertile land of promise, which em- 
braced the whole outstretching domain between Ohio and the 
Mississippi River. Wisconsin was then especially regarded a 
field where i)lenteous rewards were awaiting professional en- 
deavor. Racine was one of the favorite localities. The popula- 
tion of the town was about 8,000 — perha])s 8,500. It had con- 
tributed from its j^urse, in the form of liorrowed money, much 
nioi-e than it coidd afford to Ixn'mw or pay. It is interesting now, 
to any one who participated in })ul)lic affairs in those days and 
yet sui'vives, to recall the fact that the mmiicipal indebtedness, 
to say nothing of accumulated interest, was then $374,000, con- 
sisting of railroad bonds, school bonds, harbor bonds, plank road 
bonds and liridge bonds. An'd as the spirit of litigation, if not 
jiositive repudiation, began to assert itself, coupled with some 
suggestions of compromise, it is also interesting to note that a 
lawyer, of whom I shall speak, ]\Iarshall M. Strong, in his advo- 
cacy of honest conduct in meeting financial engagements, plainly 
t<ild the people that they were riding on a stolen railroad, sailing 
their water craft in a stolen harbor, traveling over stolen I'oads 
and bridges, and sending their children to stolen schools — all 
of which meant that Racine, to be honest, must pay her debts, 
in short, it was a gloomy time, and it would be naturally supposed 
that a young lawyer casting his fortunes in the West would give 
Racine a wide berth. But the accidents of circumstance often 
control onr destiny and he took the chance of dropping anchoi' 
and making this his home. 



"At that time — January, 1859 — there were tweBty-one 
hiwyers engaged in the practice of the law in this town, and it 
befell me to increase the number to twenty-two. Let me call 
the roll of the twenty-one: Marshall M. Strong and Henry T. 
Fuller, composing the firm of Strong & Fuller; William P. Lyon 
and John B. Adams, of the firm of Lyon & Adams; John W. Gary, 
A. W. Farr and Lewis W. Evans, of the firm of Gary, Farr & 
Evans; Ida G. Paine and Nelson Millet, of the firm of Payne & 
Millet; Horace T. Sanders and Mr. Ladd, of the firm of Sanders 
& Ladd; William E. Wording and Peyton R. Morgan, of the firm 
of Wording & Morgan; George B. Judd and Shelton L. Hall, 
composing the firm of Judd & Hall; A. S. Spooner and Nicholas 
IL Dale, composing the firm of Spooner & Dale; Nehemiah H. 
Joy, Ghampion S. Ghase, G. W. Hall and Joseph C. Botsford. 
There were others here then, who had been admitted to the bar 
as early as 1848, 1851 and 1853, among whom were Thomas J. 
Emerson, Lorenzo Janes, George G. Northrop, William G. Mar- 
shall and George Q. Erskine. But I do not recall that they were 
in active practice. The list I have given should include James R. 
Doolittle, but he was then in the Senate of the United States and, 
although a meml)er of'the Racine bar, I do not remember to have 
seen him engaged in the trial of causes at that period — nor until 
he left the Senate, which was at a much later time. 

Henry T. Fuller was adnntted to the bar of Racine Gircuit 
Gourt October 16, 1848. He studied law in Rochester, N. Y., in 
the office of Judge Jerome, an eminent lawyer in his time. At 
the conclusion of his law studies he went to the City of New York 
and was there admitted to the bar. In 1847 he came west and 
located in Milwaukee. Subsequently he removed to Racine and 
entered into {)artnership with Marshall M. Strong. The partner- 
ship continued until 1864, a period of seventeen years. In his 
prime Mr. Fuller was a tireless worker, a vigorous thinker, a 
wise adviser. In the days of which I speak the foreclosure of 
mortgages was a large and lucrative business. Nearly every 
farmer along the line of the newly constructed Racine & Missis- 
sippi Railroad had mortgaged his farm to aid the building of the 
road. Many of these mortgages passed into the hands of eastern 
people, who were clients of Strong & Ftiller, and most of them 









had to be forcclosod. I have seen Mi-. Fuller nnnv into coui-t with 
a Hood-sized baski'tful of (ndcrs of reference, referees' reports 
and decrees, and occupy the full iiKH'iiint; Ikiui' taking the signa- 
ture of the judge, this occurring not on an occasional day, but 
many tiiues during the term. After the liour was s])ent and it 
was time to call the jui'v. the judge would ask, 'Have you any- 
thing more, Mr. Fuller'?' and Fuller would answer, 'Not any- 
thing more this UKirning, your honor,' i)lacing ]iarticulai' em- 
phasis (in the 'this'. It was eiidugh to tui'u a starving young 
lawyer's eyes green with envy. Mr. Fuller was attoi'ney and 
vice-president of the Western Union Railroad Company and per- 
formed great service in promoting the successful operation of 
the road fi-om Racine to Savannah, and in the construction of th(^ 
extended line to Rock Island. He was loyal to Racine and in his 
days of health none exceeded him in })uhlic spirit. 

"It was my fortunate lot to become professionally associated 
with iNIr. Fuller after the death of Mr. Strong, and for ten con- 
tinuous years the most intimate business and social relations 
existed between us. It needed not a word or writing for eithei- 
the formation or dissolution of the partnership. We simply shook 
hands and said 'Now we are partners,' and again we shook hands 
when with mutual regret we separated. To such an extent did 
unity of feeling and interest prevail between us that the spot 
where he now lies buried was originally acquired under a joint 
title; and when the battle of life shall be over with me, as it is 
over with him, there, under the boughs of the tree we planted 
together, we shall repose near inito each other, tenants in com- 
mon of God's acre. 

"William P. Lyon came to Wisconsin in May, 1841, passing 
through Burlington to Walworth County. Much of the time 
from 1841 to 1846 he worked on a farm in the Town of Hudson 
(now Lyons), but, with a passionate fondness for law reading, 
he mingled Blackstonc and Kent and some other antique law 
books, now quite out of fashion, with agriculture. His natural 
bent was towards the law and this disposition was fostered by 
his mother. In this instance, maternal approval was rather re- 
markable, since his mother was a Quakeress and therefore of the 
order that stands for 'peace and good will among men.' He be- 
came a student in the office of Judge George Gale, then a prac- 


tieiui;- lawyer at Elkhorn. and afterwards the author, I believe, 
of a treatise on })ri)l)ate practice. Later he entered tlae office of 
Judge Charles M. Baker, of (icneva, and father of our lamented 
Robert Baker, and remained tlici'c until admitted to the bar of 
Walworth County in 1846. He was lawyer, justice of the jDeaee 
and town clerk in Lyons from that time on until 185U. His 
receipts for professional services for the first year were $60, the 
second year $180, and the third $400. In 1854 he was elected 
district attorney and in the fnllowing year moved to Racine. 
Plolding that position until 1859, he meantime came into com- 
mand of a large general practice and became one of the recognized 
leaders of the bar. At the next election after the expiration of 
his term as district attorney he was elected to the Assembly as 
the memlier from Racine and, although without previous legisla- 
iive ex]ierience, he was made s^X'aker. While serving his coun- 
Tr\' in the Civil War, in 1865, he was elected judge of the first cir- 
cuit, and connnenced his judicial duties in December of that year. 
According to the records, he held his first tei'ni in Racine County 
in February, 1866, and was appointed l)y Governor Fairchild to 
the Supreme Court in January, 1871. Concerning his careei' on 
the circuit bench, I quote the connnents of another, which 1 can 
personally verify: 'He made an admirable nisi prius judge, and 
his i)opularity with the bar and suitors, jurymen and the public 
generally was matter of universal connnent.' CVmcerning bis 
incumbency of the bench of the Supreme Court, it is only neces- 
sai'y to refer to his judgments in the published reports. He be- 
came chief justice on January 4, 1892, and continued in that 
position until he retired in Januaiy, 1894. 

"A painstaking lawvei' was John B. Adams, the office mem- 
bei- of the law firm of Lyon & Adams. He had little relish foi' 
the contentions of the court room and was best adapted to the 
more retired but not less important duties of adviser and office 
counsel. He was a painstaking lawyer of inflexible integrity 
and was so highly respected and esteemed that later he was 
elected county judge and thereafter never resumed active prac- 
tice. His administration of that im])ortant office was most highly 
approved by the ])eo})le of the county. In 1868 he removed to 
South Fjvanston, Illinois, and became connected with the title 
and abstract business in Chicago. Some years ago he removed 


to Saugatuck, Michigan, wlici'c lie succossfvilly cniiducted a i)rti- 
(luctive fruit farm. 

"One of tho most brilliant men who shed luster, not only on 
the bar of Hafinc. but also on the hai- of the state, was Horace 
'r. Sanders. Tic i-anic Iroiu (Iciicscc (^)unty, New York, and was 
thoi'oughly (Miuipjicd as a lawyer when he entered upon the prac- 
tice of the pi'dfessioii in iiaciiic in 1842. He combined brilliancy 
and time intellectual power, lie was a niciiiher of the second 
constitutional convention of 1847; took a conspicuous part in the 
general debates and proceedings of that body, and rendered very 
useful service in framing the constitution under which we live 
today. He was richly endowed with native talent and. nioreovei-, 
was educated in the classics. He was negligent in attiic and 
iiiannei's to the ]ioint of slovenliness, but one forgot that when he 
I'ose in ]»ublic address. He Avas vehement, eloquent and power- 
ful. He knew liow to draw a pleading and to draw it perfectly, 
but he had no patience with details and wanted an associate who 
would attend to pleadings, notices of trial, knowledge of wit- 
iK'Sses and all such drudgery, so that he should find the equi])- 
ment conq)lete at the trial in which he was to be pre-eminent. 
The first contested suit I had after 1 came to Racine was an 
action of ejectment, to recover four inches in width of ground 
lying between two buildings on the west side of Market Square. 
Time, it was I'athei' a small quantity of real estate to make much 
ado al)out. but I had my case carefully ])rei)ai'ed and to me it did 
not matter just then whether the subject of the suit was a thou- 
sand acres or the smallest minimum in (piantity. Sanders was 
against me at the trial. Our respective clients were sitting by 
'lur sides. I made what I thoi;ght was a fair opening statement 
to the jury and sat down. Sanders then spoke for the defence. 
Now^, four inches in width of ground lying between two houses 
and elongated seventy feet is rather a narrow strip, and Sanders 
liegan his address after this fashion: 

" 'Gentlemen of the Jury: This is an action, brought by the 
plaintiff, on the advice of his counsel, to recover four inches of 
gi'ound, inaccessible to either party, which the plaintiff desires 
to use as a cow pasture.' But while Sanders was satirizing my 
case, his client was offering us adequate propitiation behind his 
hack, and when he concluded, I informed the court and jury that 


the case was settled l»y nii agreement to pay my client an accept- 
able consideration fur the urouiul. 

"Mr. Sanders was a Democrat and believed in Donglas, the 
Little (liant, as the ocracle of democracy, and, like Douglas and 
Carpenter, when secession trained its guns on Fort Sumter, he 
was for his country and the I^uion, party or no party. He was a 
member of the famous Legislature of 1853, and was chosen one 
of the Assembly's managers to conduct the impeachment of Judge 
Levi Hubbell before the Senate. Associated with Edward G. 
Ryan as assistant prosecutor, he discharged his duties at the trial 
with great ability, and on the twenty-eighth day made the open- 
ing argument for the prosecution. In a review of the trial, which 
lasted thirty days, he told me that, in his opinion, if it had not 
been for the terrific invective of Ryan, judgment of conviction 
would have been secured. 

"Horace T. Sanders served in the Civil AVar with distinction 
and was mustered out as a brigadier general of United States 
Volunteers. In 1863 he was president of a military commission 
and provost judge. At the close of the war Colonel Sanders came 
back to his little home in Racine, broken in health, but proud and 
brave in spirit. He never again was able to resume professional 
work and cherished hope of recovery to the last. He steadily 
wasted away and died in October, 1865. Like many another law- 
yer with brilliant talents, Colonel Sanders died poor. His wife 
and a large family of little girls survived him and the bar con- 
tributed liberally to their innnediate wants. He and Matt Car- 
penter were great friends, and CariJenter under the impulse of 
friendshij) and true affection, such as prompted him to many a 
generous deed, went upon the Hoor of the Milwaukee Chamber 
of Commerce and made, in behalf of the family, an appeal so elo- 
quent and i)athetie, in which he pictured the little girls, protected 
only by the arms of a devoted mother, as 'lilies of the field, for 
they toil not, neither do they spin,' that it induced spontaneous 
response in the form of a purse of $(500. 

"Mr. Ladd was the office lawyer in the firm of Sanders & 
liadd. He was an agreeable and diligent man, but while in Racine 
never took a jn-ominent part at the bar. When Colonel Sanders 
entered the military service, the firm was broken up, and at some 
period during the war Mr. Ladd removed from Racine. 

"John W. Carv was for fortv-five vears a lawver in Wiscon- 


sin. He was a X'ci'iiKiiitcr by hiilli; was a ,i;i'aduat(' of Uni(m 
College, Schenectady, New York: was admitted to the bar of the 
Supreme Court of New York in 1844, and also became a solicitor 
in chancery in the court of Chancelloi' ^^'alworth. He came to 
Racine in 1850 and formed a partnership with James K. Doo- 
little, which continued until 1853, when Mi'. Doolittle became 
judge of the first circuit, in 1857 and 1858, he was head of the 
firm of Cary, Fan- & Evans, and my recollection is that when I 
<'amc to Racine from Ohio in January, 1859, the i)artnership was 
still in existence. jNlr. Cary was a memlx'r of the State Senate 
at the time of tlic iiupcachnicnt of Judge Plubbell in 1853. He 
was mayor of Racine in 1857. In the eai'ly pai't of 1859 he re- 
moved to Milwaukee and became the counsel of the La Crosse 
& ^Milwaukee Raili-oad (^)mpany and spent the remainder of his 
life in the service of that corporation and of the successive cor- 
porations wliich ultimately became, by consolidations and organ- 
izations, the present Chicago. Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad 
('om|)any. He was a bold, manly, coui'ageous lawyer and one 
whose sense of l)road equity was very strong. At one term of the 
Su])reme Court of the United States he argued fourteen causes 
and won them all, against such men as Caleb Cushing, Matthew 
H. Caprenter, and other eminent lawyers. He was thorough and 
conscientious to the last degree in the preparation of his cases, 
a virtue always to be emulated and without wliich the highest 
success is not attained. He was a very finely balanced man. In 
the beautiful tribute ])aid to his memory by Burton IIans(m, it 
w as said of him that he became a member of the bar at Racine, 
than which none iji the state was more brilliant. It included 
such names as Ryan, Strong, Doolittle, Lyon, Sanders and Fuller, 
and 'among such men, it is high praise to say that as a lawyer 
Mr. Cary was their peer.' 

"When A. W. Farr located in Racine I do not know. He 
removed here from (ieneva, where I think he had practiced his 
profession several years. He was admitted to the bar of the 
Supreme Com-t at its first session in 1853. He was a man whose 
acquaintance was not readily made and so I did not come to know 
him well for some time after I located in Racine. He was then 
city attorney. He was an excellent all-round lawyer. He was 
plain, sensible, clear-minded, and presented his cases to the court 
always with clearness of ajiprehension and with fidelity to the 


interests (if liis clients. He enlisted in the War of the Kebellioii 
in the 'I'liird Cavalry, became quartermaster of the regiment, 
and was killed in action October 6, 1863. 

"Lewis M. Evans, one of Mr. Gary's partners, was a bright, 
stirring young lawyer when T knew him, but he left Racine early. 
J think he moved to 13uft"alii. 

"Ira 0. Paine was one of the nnicjue characters of the old 
Racine bar. He came from the Western Reserve in Ohio and 
was of good stock. He was a brother of General James H. Paine, 
who in his time was a distinguished lawyer in Milwaukee, and 
was uncle of Byron Paine, one of the justices of the Supreme 
Gourt, and, moreover, one of the ablest that ever sat on the bench 
of that court. Our i\Ir. Paine had tlie title of major and we all 
knew him as 'Major Paine,' but how he got that title I never 
knew. He was an impulsive, exphisive man, })ut full of good- 
heartedness and good nature. As a lawyer he had grown up in 
tile common law pi'actice. Tidd and Ghitty and the English 
conmion law i-eports were his law books, and he hated the code 
with a hatred that glowed in his face when a fiiendly word was 
spoken of it in his presence. He was the only lawyer that had 
a desk within the court room bar, and it was his own. An inci- 
deiit illustrated his contempt for the code. Fuller had brought 
suit to recover rent upon a written lease. He had embodied in 
his complaint the entire lease, in liaec verba. The Major discov- 
ered a provision in the code permitting a motitin to strike out 
redundant and irrelevant matter from a pleading, and, thinking 
it a])plied to Fuller's complaint, as it did, he assailed the plead- 
ing by such a motion. He argued his motion vehemently, but 
-Judge Noggle, who was a code judge, overruled it on the spot. 
Major Paine retired to his seat by the desk in utter disgust and 
settled into meditation.. The more he meditated, the deeper grew 
the crimson in his cheeks. Like Tam O'Shanter's 'sullen dame,' 
he 'nui'sed his wrath to keep it warm.' Getting hotter and hotter, 
and repeating to himself, sotto voce, the offensive word 'redun- 
dancy,' ' redundancy,' several times, he at last br<ike into a volley 
of volcanic and ])i'()fane expletives that it would not do to repeat 
in this presence. 

"Y(»u may have heai'd of his I'ctort in the Sn[)r('nie Gourt, 
prompted )>y a remark of Ghief Justice Dixon, for it has gone 
the rounds of the state and has come d<nvn as one of the tradi- 


tioiial stoi'ics of tlic (lid liai'. Ho and a iiuiuhcr of the Racine 
la\v}'('rs had set (Hit i'nr .Madison in udod time, as they believed, 
to attend the eonit and aiuiic their cases. But they were badly 
delayed by a snowstorm, and on arrival found that the Racine 
cases, which were in a ,i;roU}). had been called and ^one to the 
foot of the ealendai'. His brethren put the jNlajoi' foi'ward to 
plead in extenuation of their late appearance and foi' the rein- 
statement of their eases. The coui't, consisting of Dixon, Cole 
and Paine, heard him attentively, and then it happened that the 
chief justice said: 'You know, MajorPaine, there is nothing' more 
uncei'tain than the time when a case wull be reached in this 
court.' 'Yes, there is; yes, there is,' retorted the Major in a 
shrill voice; 'it is a good deal more uncertain how the case will 
be decided when it is reached.' It is needless to say that the 
court inunediately reinstated the cases. 

"Ira C. Paine was judge of the first circuit a short time in 
1875. lie held one term in Racine, perhaps two, and at not a 
rrnnote time thereafter passed beyond the twilight's purj^le hills. 
His {)artner, Nelson ^lillett, a good many years ago removed to 
Columbus, Nebraska, where he died, leaving a son, who, I believe, 
is living and a lawyer at that place. 

"William Vl. AVording was county judge when I came to 
Racine and continued such a good many years. In the eai'ly 
fifties his court had civil jm-isdiction and he held several trial 
terms. He was a man of good mind, rather eccentric in manner 
and, unlike most lawyers, had a talent for making money. He 
liad what Judge Gresham used to call 'the money sense,' in high 
degree. The scorched and ]>artially burned papers to be found 
in the old files in the present County Court were rescued from a 
tire that burned Judge Wording's office. His partner for many 
years was Peyton U. Morgan, who came from Massachusetts 
and was a gentleman in the best sense. Neither member of the 
firm of Wording & Morgan apjjeared much in court. But they 
had ([uite a lai'ge business, especially in foreclosures. ^Ir. Mor- 
gan's wife came of a distinguished family in ^Massachusetts and 
was a highly accomplished woman. She was a daughter of Gen- 
eral James Apjjleton, who fought under General Jackson at New 
Orleans, in the Wai' of 1812. A son of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, 
James Appleton Morgan, is living near New York City. 


"(lorcc 15. JiuUl (';iinc from llcrkiuier County, New York, 
and in an eminent (le^ree was a I'epreseutative of the old har of 
that state. He was a most courteous geuth'man of the good old 
style, of dignified bearing, and withal one of the industrious 
in the trial of a case I ever knew. Those were days that ante- 
dated sten(\graphers and typewriters, and the copious notes 
Colonel Judd was al)le to make as a trial |ii-oceeded always ex- 
cited my surprise and admiration. Never a point escaped him 
and ft'om his notes alone a bill of exceptions could be made. He 
was persistent, untiring, thorough. Incivility was to him like a 
breach of hospitality in your own home. Old associations and 
love of his old home sometimes led him to forget himself for the 
moment and to address the jury as '(Jentlemen of Herkimer 
(\)unt3'.' He always wore a dress suit, which emphasized his 
gentlemanly bearing, and to me it seemed extremely appropriate. 
as in Ohio I had l)een accustomed to see lawyers thus dressed, 
particularly during the sessions of court. Colonel -ludd's prac- 
tice extended to the Ru]n'enie Court, where he was not infre- 
(piently heard in imi)ortant cases. His professional career is an 
imjjortant ])art of the history of the bar of Racine. 

"His jiartner for a considerable time was Shelton L. Hall, 
who still (1901) has a home in Racine. He long since retired 
from active laboi' and has attained the ripe old age of eighty- 
eight years. His wife was a sister of Mrs. Morgan, of whom 1 
have spoken, and they were cousins of the first wife of the poet, 
Longfellow. Samuel K. Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Shelton L. 
Hall, is a lawyer pursuing his professicm in Chicago. 

"Nicholas H. Dale began the practice of the law in this 
comity. His home was in the Town of Yorkville, where, before 
his admission to the bai' in IS")?, he had worked on a farm and 
taught school. At what time precisely he removed to Racine T 
do not know, l)Tit he was here in Jaiuiaiy, 1859, and we had ad- 
joining offices. He was a man of very positive traits of character; 
ti-ied a case vigorously; was not wanting in self-confidence, and 
was a speaker of no mean parts. He enlisted in Company (i. 
Second Wisconsin Cavalry; was subsequently })romoted to be 
lieutenant colonel, and died at Neosho, Missouri. His partner 
was A. C. Sjiooner, who came here from Delavan. After the dis- 
solution of the firm, he ictui-ned to Delavan, where only a few 
veai-s aao he died. 


"Neluuniah H. Joy was a Vormoiitor. His father lost his 
life ill tlu' War of 1812. Ambitious to beeoine a lawyer, he studied 
l.iw ill the offices of Judge Uiulerhill, in Chelsea, Veniioiit. He 
was a(hiiitted to the bar in (irnton, in 1840, and in 1844 lie re- 
iiKivcd to Jackson, Michigan, in 1858 he came to Wiscosnin and 
locjited in Kenosli;!. In 18"),') lie I'ciudvcd to Racine and became 
a nieinber of the bar of this county. lie practiced law here from 
that time until 18()8, when he died at the home of his daughter, 
Mrs. George H. Paul, of JMihvaukee. He was at one time district 
attorney and subsequently was appointed to and held the office 
of postmaster in Racine. iMr. Joy was well grounded in the law; 
was Hueiit in speech and strong in discussion,' and always pre- 
sented his cases to the court and jury with exceiitional force. 
He was agreeable and interesting in conversation, and I remem- 
ber him as a lawyer of excellent attainments and kindly nature. 
After the dissolution of the firm of Judd & Hall Mr. Joy became 
a partner of Colonel Judd, and the firm of Judd & Joy was well 
known and prominent throughout the county. 

"Champion S. Case was one of the lawyers of Racine in the 
times of which 1 speak. He was in active practice several years 
before 1859, as a member of the old firm of Butterfield & Chase. 
He removed to Omaha many years ago and later became mayor 
of that city. 

"There are four lawyers who came to the bar of this county 
;it a somewhat later time than that having immediate relation to 
my subject. l)ut yet in such proximity to that joeriod that I should 
not omit to say something of them. I I'efer, in the order of their 
admission to the bar, to Judge E. O. Hand, Frederic ITllman, 
Charles 11. Lee and John B. Winslow. 

Judge Hand was reading law in the office of Lyon & Adams 
in January, 1859, when I came to Racine. At one time his father's 
family lived in Burlington. In the spring of 1849 he went to 
California and spent four years in digging gold. He entered a 
Michigan college in 1853, graduated in 1858, and in 1859 he grad- 
uated from the State University of Wisconsin. He then came 
to Racine, pursued his law studies, was admitted to the bar on 
April 23, 1861; became a member of the firm of Lyon & Adams, 
and after Judge Lyon was elected circuit judge the firm was 
reorganized as that of Adams & Hand. This firm continued until 


Judge Adams left Racine. Judge Hand was appi)iiitrd county 
judge in September, 1868, and held that office for thirteen years. 

"Frederic Ulhiian, Ixnii, reared, educated and niai-ried in 
Kacine, where also he entered upon his professional career, began 
his law studies in the office of Strong & Fuller, but as those were 
war times, he broke away to join the army of 'three hundred 
thousand more' Returning at the close of the war, in the fall 
of 1865, he resmned his studies in the offices of Fuller & Dyer, 
and there continued until about August, 1866, when he began 
attendance at the Albany Law School, graduating in the summer 
of 1867. On his return to Racine he was admitted to the bar, 
formed a partnership with ( ". AV. Bennett, and they practiced 
together until 1869, when they removed to Chicago, continuing 
the partnership there until the great fire of 1871. To nt) lawyer 
in Chicago has been more generously and deservedly awarded 
the confidence, respect and esteem of the courts and bar than to 
Mr. Ullman. Plis carecu- has been one of honorable and unvary- 
ing success. He has been president of the Chicago Bar Associa- 
tion and his distinction in the i)rofcssi(»n has been otherwise 
long recognized. 

"Like Mr. IHlman, Charles H. Lee was 'to the manner Itoi'u' 
and unlike some of us, he has never deserted his native heath. 
I knew Mr. Lee's father — Alanson H. Lee — before I knew him, 
and no more honoral)le, high-minded and respected man ever 
lived in Racine than he. He was a merchant — one of the good 
old style — and <if all the merchants who either preceded or suc- 
ceeded him in this town to the present time, he was facile prin- 
ceps. Charles H. Lee began to read law in the office of C. W. 
Bennett in the s])i"ing of 1866. Tn September of that year he 
became a student and assistant in the office of Fuller & Dyer, 
succeeding Mi'. Ullman, who had gone to law school. He re- 
mained there until August, 1868. Then he, too, went off to the 
Albany Law School. He was admitted to the New York bar in 
May, 18()9. and to the Racine bar in June of that year, when he 
rctiinied to Fuller & Dyer's office, remaining there imtil April, 
1871, when he became associated with John T. Fish. The fiim 
of Fish & Lee c(tntinued luitil 1878, when he liecame special coim- 
sel of the J. 1. Case Threshing Machine Company and remained 
in that position and as treasurer of the company until December 
'M, 1896. 


"Joliii I!. W'iiisltiw hc^nii the study ol' tlic law in .Judge 
Hand's office in January, 1872, where he i-eiuained until -June, 

1873, when lie. lilce his two inuiiediate })re(h'cessors, came into 
Fuller & Dyer's office and continued there initil about September, 

1874. lie then entered the law school at JNladison, took a year's 
coui'se, tii'aduatint;' and bein^ admitted to the bar dune 17, 1875. 
For a year thereafter he was in the office of Fullei' & Harkness, 
and when dud^e Harkness removed to Salt Lake City he became 
a pai'tner of Mr. Fidler. lie continued in that relati<»n until 
Decendjer, 1877, when he opened an office alone. In 188U he 
formed a partnershi|) with C. A. Brownson, a most worthy law- 
yer, who died prematurely and mu(di lamented — and this part- 
nership continued mitil Judi;e Winslow was appointed to the 
circuit bench, where he remained vnitil May 4, 1891, when, to the 
great satisfaction of the bar. he was promoted to the bench of 
the Supreme Court. 

"Samuel Ritchie's career as a mendter of this bar })resses 
cldse upon the period of which I have been speaking. He was 
admitted to the bar in ]87o, and although retired from actual 
[•ractice has held contimious association with the profession. 

"Successor of most of those of wdioin I have spoken and asso- 
ciate of some, this occasion should not pass without allusion to 
one who now rests fi'om his labors, John Tracy Fish. He began 
humbly, he toiled unceasingly, and completed his life work a 
recognized leader of the Wisconsin bar. Beginning in a little 
hamlet in Walworth County, admitted to the bar in 1859; giving 
more than four years to the service of his country as a soldier, 
then resuming his profession in Burlington; elected district at- 
torney, removing to Racine in 1868; he fi'om that point in his 
career moved steadily onward and upward, closing his life work 
as general solicitor of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road Company, and later as local counsel within the State of 
Wisconsin of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company. 
Of his great ability, of his remarkable advancement and success, 
enduring record has been made, l)oth in the form of achievement 
during life and memorials after his death, in the Supreme Court 
of the state and in the CircTiit Court of this county. 

"Passing n(tw to Bui-lington, 'loveliest village of the ])lain.' 
I name first Lewis Rovee, because he came in 1837 and was the 


first law yci' located in the town. My impression is he emigrated 
from \"('nuoiit. He was educated in the law that relates back to 
-Justinian, and Ix'^an his professional work in Burlington by 
building a lime kiln and burning liuu'. J^aw vers in those days in 
rural localities did all sorts of things and combined all sorts of 
trades. 1 wish you could have known Mr. Royce. He was a 
veritable 'green bag' lawyer, for when he came to court he always 
carried his papers in a green bag. He answered perfectly Car- 
lyle's characterization of Dryasdust. He was a legal Dryasdust. 
If you consulted him on some modern, every-day question of 
contract or trespass, oi- boundaries of land, or mill-dam rights, 
or, foi- that matter, any otlici' question, he took you back to the 
Pandects; brought you down to Coke on Littleton; then Black- 
stone, with his Black Acre and White Acre; th(!n Lord Hard- 
wicke, and tinally the Supreme Court of Vermont, so that at the 
end of the interview you felt like a man who had lived in the 
middle ages, and that you had gone through processes of evolu- 
tion that would be new even to Darwin. To speak the truth, 
Mr. Royce was a lawyer of great learning. His embarrassment 
was in the practical application of his learning to professional 
work. He was a legal antiquary and if we could imagine such a 
thing as a law nuiseum, wherein there might be exhibited person- 
ified curiosities of the law, our good old friend would be entitled 
to a first place among the most antique specimens. 

"Caleb P. Barnes had given up the law^ before 1859. Yet 
his ])revious relations to the bar justify allusion to him. He was 
a man early and entirely thrown upon his own resources. His 
law library comprised perhaps fifty or a hundred of the old stand- 
ai'd law books, mostly elenumtary. Naturally, and from habit, 
he reasoned fi'om ])rinciple almost entirely and needed few liooks. 
His intellect was acute; his style of speech terse and pithy, and 
withal be clothed his tboughts with a quaint and indesci-ibable 
hiunor that lent interest to everything he said, and made his 
com])anionship a joy and charm. I have heard some of the old 
lawyers say he was the best cross-examiner of witnesses they 
ever saw. 

"C. W. Bennett was one of the Burlington la\vyers of which 
1 speak. He was the son of a farmer in the Town of Duanesburgh, 
New Yoi-k. He entered the Albany Law School in January, 1856, 
and graduated in A))ril, 1857. In September of that year he came 


to Wisconsin and located in Bnrlinnton. J. O. Cnlver, a friend, 
came about that time and they formed a partnership. They were 
))ooi', as every younu- lawyer should be, and under the stimulus 
of circumstances and ambition they set to work. Mr. Bennett 
was admitted to the bar of the county. ()ctol)er 20, 1857, and Mr. 
Culver, December 24 of the same year. Later Mi'. Culver re- 
moved to (ii-eeii Bay. In May, 18()(), Mr. Beiuiett I'emoved to 
Racine, where he remained until Jinie, 1869. On coming to 
Unciiie lie formed a partnt'rship with A. W. Farr. He was dis- 
trict attorney se\-eral terms between 1860 and 1869. In June, 
1867, he formed a i)artnershii) with Frederic Ullnian, and they 
practiced together until 1869, when they removed to Chicago. He 
lost all he pt)ssessed in the great fire of 1871 and then moved to 
Salt Lake City, where he became the head of one of its successful 
law firms. Mr. Bennett was one of the most able lawyers that 
ever came to the Racine Comity bar and he has been recognized 
as one of the ablest and most distinguished west of the Rocky 

"Judge Robert Ilarkness resigned from the circuit bench in 
1875 and became associated with Henry T. Fuller in the practice 
of the law. The partnershi]) continued until Ai)ril, 1875, when he 
removed to Salt Lake ('ity. 

"I remember very well the first time I met Judge "VNTiiton 
and it was the only time, 1 think. My recollection is it was in 
1849. He was then judge of the first circuit. The occasion was 
a murder trial in Southjxjrt, the Caffrey case, simiewhat famous, 
because it was the first in which cajntal punishment was adnnnis- 
tered in this state. S. Park Coon was prosecuting and Fred 
Lovell and K. W. Evans were defending. The notoriety of the 
case and an eager curiosity impelled me to visit the court room. 
I remember how the bearing of the judge on the bench and the 
pleas of the lawyers impressed me and T may add tliat my inter- 
ests in the case did not cease until I saw the convicted man hung 
oil the ])rairie west of Southport. 

"If I were to go back to a time which antedates my ])ersonal 
knowledge, I shcmld enumerate as practitioners at this bar Fid- 
ward G. Ryan, Thomas Wright, Chester Bush, Hubl)ell W. John- 
son, Moses Butterfield, Horace N. Chapman, Jackson B. Nutting, 
Lewis Smith, David L. Eastman, Joseph F. Jones, Samuel E. 
Chniiniaii. At one sitting of the court, in 1848. twentv-five law- 


vers were admitted to the bar in this county, among whom were 
Isaac N. Stoddard, O. S. Head, E. W. Evans, H. H. Towslee, J. 
Bond and Andrew G. Chatfield, all of Southport, which was then 
in Racine County. If I were to refer to others admitted in 1858, 
1859, 1860 and 1861, and whom I knew, I should mention M. Kelbe, 
N. N. Trombley, James F. Lewis, I). A. Pierce, Warren .1. Dur- 
ham, L. L. Wainwright, Egbert Jameison, Aitlnir R. Lacey and 
William E. Strong." 

At this time the conauou law and chancery practice existed, 
the code not being adopted until 1856. 


At this time the personnel of the local bar is matter of com- 
ment, as it retains the high standard for ability, integrity and high 
aims advanced and maintained by the master leaders of former 
days. No special mention of them shall ap])ear in this chapter 
for the reason that most of them, if not all, will have a place in 
the biographical volume of this history. However, the names of 
the members are hereto appended: 


Ahrens, Otto E.; Beach, Paul M.; Beck, Thorwald M.; Ben- 
son, Guy A.; Burgess, E. Roy; Collins, Edmund R.; Emmett, 
Shirley L.; Flett, David H.; Foley, Jerome J.; Gillen, Martin J.; 
Gittings, C. C, Racine; Gittings, Jt)hn T., Union Crove; (Jit- 
tins Elmer E.; Hand, Elbert B.; Hardy, Thomas P.; Harvey, 
Richard G.; Heck, Max W.; Hueffner, Martin M.; Ingalls, Wal- 
lace; Janecky, Adolph R.; Judd, A. Gary; Kearney, Thomas M.; 
Kearney, Thomas M., Jr.; Knoblock, Milton J.; Krenzke, Charles; 
Lee, William E.; Liegler, John H.; Lunt, A. J.; Myers, Peter J.; 
Owen, John W. ; Palmer, W. C. ; Quinn, Lewis J. ; Rohr, Louis H., 
Burlington; Sander, William, Waterford; Simmons, John B.; 
Smieding, Henry G.; Smieding, William, Jr.; Storms, William 
W.; Thompson, Fulton; Thompson, W. D.; Walker, M. E., Racine; 
Waller, George W., Burlington; Wehmhoff, E. John, Burlington; 
Wentworth, John T.; Whaley, Vilas H. 


Gittins & Burgess; Gittings, Janecky & Beach; Hand, Hand 
& Quinn; Heck & Krenzke; Simmons & Walker; Storms, Foley & 
Beck; Thom])son & Harvey; Thompson, Myers & Kearney. 









Medicine is undoubtedly the oldest of the learned profes- 
sions. The first man who suffered some bodily ailment probably 
sought for some plant to relieve his pain and, having found one, 
communicated his discovery to his neighbor. This was the begin- 
ning of a pharmaca?pia that through the succeeding centuries has 
been built up to its present wonderful proportions. The practice 
of medicine as a profession is old in India and still older in China, 
where its origin is lost in tradition and fable. The best authorities 
attribute the introduction of the healing art in China to the Em- 
peror Hwang Ti, who ruled about 2687 B. C. Although the 
Chinese physician knew nothing of human anatomy or the cir- 
culation of the blood, he had elaborate rules for noting the pulse, 
and his remedies were a curious collection of ingredients from 
the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. His surgery, if he 
])racticed any at all, must have lioen crude, his chief reliance hav- 
ing been placed in plasters, poultices, etc. Little improvement 
was made in medicine in China until after missionaries began to 
visit the country, taking with them ideas from other nations. 

The Egyptians are credited with having been the first people 
to reduce the practice of medicine to a system or profession. 
There the priests were the first physicians, but from old docu- 
ments and papyri it is evident that, besides those engaged in 
general practice they had specialists, such as g}Ti£ecologists, sur- 
geons, veterinarians and even oculists. One papyrus dates back 
to the Sixteenth Century B. C, and the Egyptian medical lore 
was preserved in the last six volumes of the "Sacred Book." 
Baas, in his History of Medicine, says: "They treated of anta- 
omy, general diseases, instruments, diseases of the eye and dis- 
eases of women, and in completeness and arrangement rival the 
Hippocratic collection, which they antedate by a thousand years." 


In tho early history of the Hebrews disease was looked upon 
as a i)unishnient for sin and therefore beyond the power of man. 
After the Egyptian captivity, many of the healing methods 
learned from their captors were practiced among the Jews, 
though the priests regarded the custom as a dangerous innova- 
tion and the ])hysician never became a popular individual in 

Cireece fui-nishes the best records of medical development 
in its early stages and after Egypt the Greeks were the first 
to have regular physicians who practiced according to system. 
C'hii'on, the Centaur, is said to have been the first (ireek to claim 
the jiower of being able to heal the sick. His pupil, ^Esculapius, 
founded a school of medicine, but after a time it degenerated into 
su])erstition and mysticism to such an extent that its usefulness 
was destroyed. Hippocrates, who was born about 460 B. C, w^as 
the great Greek ])hysician. He wrote treatises on hygiene, 
surgery and other topics, classified diseases, though he had no 
])ractical knowledge of anatomy, and has been called "the 
Father of Medicine." 

About the beginning of the Christian Era, Telsus, a Roman 
writer on medicine, appeared in the arena. He followed the 
teachings and philosophy of Hippocrates. Celsus was succeeded 
l)y Galen, who wrote over one hundred works, some on the sub- 
ject of anatomy. The systematic study of anatomy did not begin, 
however, until in the Sixteenth Gentury, when the first dissection 
was conducted by Vesalius, an Italian physician and surgeon. 
After the discovery of the circulation of the blood by Harvey, 
and the develoiunent of the science of chemistry, the science of 
medicine went forward with greater celerity and the physician 
began to connnand a greater respect from the people. 

It was a long time, though, before the doctor won the place 
in society to which he was justly entitled. Voltaire defined a 
[jhysician as "a man who ci-aiiis drugs of which he knows little 
into a body of which he knows less." That may have been true 
of a certain class of French empirics at the time it was written, 
but since Voltaire wrote the science of medicine has progressed 
])y leaps and bounds and the ])liysician of the Twentieth Century 
is generally a man who occupies a high standing in the commu- 
nity, ])oth for his ]ti'ofessional skill and his general reputation as 
a citii^en. 



111 every early settleineiit throughout the central part of the 
Ignited States, eaeh family kept a stock of roots, herlw and barks 
\'nv the treatment of comnion ailments. In cvci'v neighborhood 
there was some elderly woman who was often called upon to 
visit the sick and ]ii<'sci'ihe one oi' more of these "liome-made" 
i-emedies, for tlie nearest doctor was ])erlia])s many miles distant. 
'Plios(> who have reatl Kggleston's "Iloosier Schoolmaster" will 
I'ccall "(Jranny Sanders," who was bold enough to advise a pi'o- 
fessional physician how he should treat his patients. Granny 
Sanders was an extreme ease, but old residents can doubtless 
I'emember the boneset tea, the burdock or snake-root bitters, the 
decoctions of wild cherry or hickory bark, or the poultices and 
plasters that "(irandma" or ''Aunt Peggy" w<inld prepare with 
scrupulous care and a])ply — internally or externally, as the exi- 
gencies of the case might demand — with as much solemnity as 
that shown by the surgeon of the i)i'(\seiit day, when he cuts into 
a ])atient and robs him of his appendix. 

This was the state of affairs in the frontier settlement when 
the first regular physician arrived, and probably no addition to 
the population was received with a more cordial welcome. Yet 
the life of a physician was no sinecure. About the only induce- 
ment for a doctor to locate in one of the new and scattering com- 
munities was that he might be able to "get in on the ground 
Hoor" and establish himself in practice before a competitor 
arrived in the field. Money was a scarce article on the frontier 
and his fees, if he collected any at all, were frequently paid in 
such produce as the farmei' could spare and the doctor could use. 


The old-time doctor was not always a gi-aduate of a medical 
scho(jl. In a majority of cases his professional education had 
been acquired by "reading" for a few months with some estab- 
lished i)hysician and assisting his preceptor in the treatment of 
his patients. When the young- man felt that he knew enough 
about medicine to begin ])ractice for himself, he began looking 
about for a suitable location. A new settlement frequently 
appeared to him as offering the best opportunities. Of course, 
there were maii}^ exceptions to this rule. An old physician, 
ali'eady established in practice and perhaps a graduate of a med- 


ical college, would "pull up stakes" to seek a new location and 
cast his lot with a young and growing community. 

If the professional and technical education of the early phy- 
sician was limited, his stock of drugs and medicines was equally 
limited. Duncan, in his "Reminiscences of the Medical Profes- 
sion," says: "The first requisite was a generous supply of Eng- 
lish calomel." To this were added some jalap, aloes, Dover's 
powder, castor oil and Peruvian hark (sulphate of quinine was 
too rare and expensive for general use), and these constituted the 
principal portion of his Materia Medica. In cases of fever it 
was considered the proper thing to relieve the patient of a 
qiiantity of hlood, hence every doctor provided himself with one 
or moi'c lancets. If a drastic cathartic, followed by blood letting, 
and perhaps a "fly blister," did not improve the condition of the 
patient, the doctor woiild "look wise and trust to the sick man's 
rugged constitution to pull him through." 

But, greatly to the credit of these pioneer physicians, it 
can be tiaithfully said that they were just as sincere and con- 
scientious in their work, and had just as mv;ch faith in the rem- 
edies they administered, as the most celebrated specialist has 
in his remedies today. It can further be said that most of them, 
as the population of the new settlement increased and their jjrac- 
tice grew more extended, refused to remain in the mediocre class. 
Many a physician has attended a medical school, even after hav- 
ing been for yeaivs engaged in practice, with a fair degree of 

Over and abov(> his professional calling and |)osition, the 
doctor was usually a man of prominence and influence. His 
advice was frequently asked in matters entirely foreign to his 
business; his travels about the settlement brought him in touch 
with all the latest news and gossip, which made him a welcome 
visitor in other households; he was often the one man in the 
comnuniity who subscribed for and read a newspaper, and this 
led his neighbors to follow his judgment and opinions in matters 
jjolitical. Look back over the history of almost any county in 
the Central United States and the names of physicians will 
a])pear as members of the Legislature, incumbents of county 
offices, and in a number of instances as the representative of his 
district in Congress. Many a boy has been named for the family 
physician. When he i-alled to see a patient near meal time, he 


was always invited to partake of "such as we have," and on 
these occasions the largest ])i('ce of chicken and the juiciest piece 
of pie would almost invariably find their way to the doctor's 

AVhen the first doctors began to practice their profession 
ill Racine County, they did not visit their patients in automo- 
biles. Even if the automobile had been invented, the roads — 
where there were any — were in such a condition most of the 
time that the vehicle would have been practically useless. Con- 
sequently the doctor put his trust in his faithful horse to carry 
him upon his round of visits. His practice extended over a large 
dictrict, some of his patrons living thirty or forty miles away, 
with no road to follow but the "blazed trail." When he made 
calls in the night, he often carried a lantern with him, so he 
could find the road in case he lost his way. If he did not remain 
with the family until morning, on his way back home he would 
drop the reins upon the horse's neck and trust to the animal's 
instinct to keep the trail. 

There were no drug stores then to fill prescriptions, so the 
doctor carried his medicines with him in a pair of "pill bags"^ 
a contrivance consisting of two leathern boxes divided into com- 
partments for different sized vials and connected by a broad 
strap that could be thrown across the saddle. Capsules were 
unknown and the "heroic" doses of bitter, nauseating medicines 
were given in various kinds of mixtures to disguise the taste. 
There seemed to be a tacit understanding between the doctor and- 
the patient that "the nastier the medicine, the quicker the cure." 
Besides the lancet, the pioneer doctor's principal surgical instru- 
ment was the "turnkey," for extracting teeth, for he was dentist 
as well as physician. A story is told of a customer once com- 
plaining to a negro barber that the razor pulled, to which the 
darky replied: "Yes, sah, I know dat, boss; but if the razor 
handle doesn't break de beard am 1)ound to come off." So it 
was with the old-time doctor as a dentist. Once he got that 
turnkey firmly fastened on a tooth, if the instrument did not 
break, the tooth was liound to come out. 

And yet these early doctors, crude as many of their methods 
may now appear, were the forerunners of and paved the way for 
the eminent specialists of the Twentieth Century. They were 
unselfish to a fault, and if one of them discovered a new remedy, 


oi a new w.iy of adniiiiistci'ini;- an old one, he was always ready 
t(i impart a kiidwlcd^c of his discovery to his professional breth- 
icii. Ill doiuu so there was little ostentation or appearance of 
pe(hintry, his chief aim beiny,' to relieve the afflicted and advance 
the interests of his chosen profession. If one of these physicians 
of the early days conld come back to the scene of his earthly 
labors and walk into the office of one of the leading specialists 
of the present generation, he wonld doubtless stand aghast at the 
array of scientific instruments, such as microscopes, stethoscopes, 
X-iay apparatus, etc., and might not realize the fact that he 
had phiyed his humble part in bringing about this mai-cli of 
progress; yet it is even so. 


In December, 1835, Br. Bushnell B. Cary located at the little 
village of l\acine and was the first man to practice medicine in 
what is now Racine County. He was born in Addison Comity, 
Vermont, December 21, 1801, and received a fair common school 
education in his native town of Shoreham. He then read medi- 
cine with a Doctoi" AVoodard and at the age of twenty-one years 
was graduated at the Castleton Medical College. Socm after 
I'eceiving his d(\gree of M. D., he married ]\Iiss Arminda Crocker, 
a native of Connecticut, and a little later removed to St. Law- 
rence Comity, New York, where he began practice. After a 
short residence there, he went to Hannibal, in Oswego County, 
where he practiced until 1875, when the Western Emigration 
Company began the work of organizing a colony to go to what 
is now Southeastern Wisconsin. 

Doctor Gary joined the colony and left Oswego in a schooner 
and on August 13, 1835, landed at the mouth of Pike River, near 
the present City of Kenosha. There he lived until the following 
December, when he located in Racine, as al)ove stated. He made 
a claim on the southeast side of the Root River, on Avhich the 
stand-pipe of the Racine Waterworks was afterward erected, 
fliongh he lived in the woods near the ])i-esent Fourth Street 
bridge. While living there a man named Hari'is undertook to 
"jump his claim." The doctor and a few of his neighbors went 
to order off the intruder. As the part.y approached, Harris fired 
njxin them and the ball passed through Doctor Cary's right arm 
and lodged nnder the sliouldei- blade, inflicting a serious wound. 


The nearest surgeon was at Milwaukee, and the only road was the 
(lid Indian ti-ail, hut a nicsscnuci- was despatched "])(ist haste" 
t(i hring a ddctor, and eventually feturned witli a young and inex- 
]»('i'ien('ed surgeon. ?Te went to work with a will, however, and 
with his ])atient's suggestions, checked the How of blood and 
saved Doctor <\iry's life, though the hall was never extracted 
and he caii'ied it with him to the grave, some twenty-five years 
later. Ilai'i'is made his esca]»e and was nevei' seen again in 

Doctor ('ary was an enthusiastic Denioci'at in his jxilitical 
affiliations. In May, l.S;>(), he was appointed i)ostmaster at Racine 
and held the office until in April, 1841. He was again appointed 
postmaster in July, 1845, and served for four years. In February, 
1854, he was appointed for a third time and served until his 
death. He was one of the incoi'porators of the Racine & Missis- 
si|)pi Railroad <"oiu]iany and also of the Racine Seminary. In 
April, 1842, he was elected as the second president of the Village 
Board, after Racine was incorporated. He also served as county 
supervisor, alderman and county treasurer, and took an active 
part in public affairs, though he never forgot that he was a phy- 
sician and that his j^atients had the first claim upon his time and 
skill. He was a i)rominent mend)er of the Masonic fraternity and 
was the first worshipful master of Racine Lodge, No. 18, when it 
was organized in November, 1847. His death occurred on Feb- 
ruary 15, 1859. 

The second physician to locate in Racine County was Dr. 
Elias Smith, who came to the settlement at the mouth of the 
Root River in December, 1835. Nothing can be learned of him 
pi'ior to his coming to Wisconsin, but after establishing himself 
at Racine he built uj) a lucrative practice and became an active, 
public spirited citizen. He was the first president of the Village 
Board when Racine was incorporated in 1841; served as i)ostmas- 
ter from April, 1841, to July, 1845; was the first president of the 
Racine & Rock River Plank Road Oomi)any; was chairman of the 
County Board of Supervisors in 1851, and was one of the incor- 
porators of the Racine & Mississippi Railroad Company. Tlie 
"Racine Register, Business Directory and Advertiser," puldished 
by Mark Miller in 1850 — the first city directory of Racine ever 
compiled — gives Doctor Smith's residence as 171 Main Street. 

Dr. E. O. Dyer first came to the county in 1836 and selected 


a location at Biirliniitoii. He walked most of the way from Chi- 
cago, following Indian trails. Toward snnset each day he would 
begin keeping a lookout for the cabin of some settler, where he 
could pass the night, a hospitality that was never denied, until 
finally, late one afternoon he arrived at Foxville. That night he 
slept with seven others in a shanty 10 by 12 feet, with no bed 
save the puncheon floor. In 1839 he brought his family and took 
up his residence in a little log cabin that had been built by Origen 
Perkins three years before. Doctor Dyer was the first to prac- 
tice his profession in the Town of Bin-lington. His son, Charles 
E. Dyer, was afterward judge of the United States District Court 
for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

In 1837 Dr. John E. Scofield came with several other mem- 
bers of his family to the Town of Raymond and was the first phy- 
sician in that part of the county. About the same time Dr. Solo- 
mon Blood located in what is now the Town of Rochester. Little 
can be learned of either of these men, further than Doctor Blood 
did not remain long in the covmty and Doctor Scofield continued 
in ]ii'actic(' for several years. 

Dr. Francis Paddock came to Racine Covmty in 1839 with 
his ])a rents and settled in what is now the Town of Salem, in 
Kenosha County. He was born in the State of New York on 
Se])tember 15, 1814, and studied medicine with Doctor Hamilton 
at Auburn, New York, before coming west. It was his intention, 
as soon as the family were comfortably settled, to return to 
Michigan and engage in practice, but .the illness of his father 
compelled him to remain in Wisconsin to look after affairs. After 
Kenosha County was cut off from Racine in 1850 he continued to 
practice in the latter coimty, where he had a munber of families 
who employed him as their physician. In 1855 he was elected to 
the State Senate and for several years he was a justice of the 
peace. His death occurred on March 29, 1889. 

The fii'st physician to locate in what is now the Town of 
Watei-ford was a Doctor Blanchard. He remained but a short 
time and afterward practiced in Racine for a while, when he left 
the county. What became of him no one knows. 

Dr. George F. Newell came to Waterford in 1842. He was 
a native of Vermont and a graduate of Castleton Medical College 
of that state. After practicing at Waterford for a few years he 
went to Racine, but soon returned to his old location, where he 




continued in practice until only a short time before his death, 
with the exception of the Civil War period, when he served as 
assistant surujeon of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry. He had 
a high rei^utation as a physician and surgeon, and after the war 
refused to accept any fees for treating the widows and orphans 
of soldiei's. Under the old town system he was superintendent of 
schools, and in 1847 was elected a member of the lower branch of 
the Territorial Legislature. He died at Rochester, Racine ('ounty, 
starch 5, 1898, aged eighty-two years. His father, Oliver Newell, 
\\ as a i)hysician; his sons, George E. Newell and Henry B. Newell, 
both took up that professsion; and a grandson, Frank F. Newell, 
is also a physician, making four generations of the family to 
follow that calling. 

Dr. Philo R. Hoy, who is well remembered l^y the old settlers 
of Racine County, was boi-n in Richland County, Ohio, November 
3, 1816. His father, Ca])t. William Hoy, was a native of New 
York. In the War of 1812 he commanded a company of infantry 
and took part in the battle of Plattsburg, New York. In 1840 
Dr. Philo R. Hoy received his degree of M. D. from the Ohio 
Medical College at Cincinnati, though he had been engaged in 
practice for about a year previous to that time. After receiving 
his degree he located at New Haven, Ohio, where he married 
Miss Mary Austin, and in September, 1846, came to Racine, then 
a town of 2,200 people. He built a residence on Main Street, 
near Second, considered at the time to be the best house in the 
town, and was soon engaged in active practice. 

Doctor Hoy took a keen interest in the advancement of sci- 
ence, especially the study of geology and archaeology. He was 
at one time president of the Wisconsin Academy of the Arts and 
Sciences; served as a member of the Geological Survey; was an 
honorary member of the Philadelphia Academy of Science; an 
active member of the Chicago Academy of Science; a member 
of the Wisconsin Board of Health, and wrote several works on 
the Mound Builders in Wisconsin, etc. Although interested in 
l)ul)lic questions, he never took an active part in politics, though 
he held the office of fish commissioner by appointment for several 

His son. Dr. A. H. Hoy, entered the army as a medical cadet 
and dm-ing the Civil War held the rank of acting assistant sur- 
geon, having charge of the hospitals at Cincinnati, Ohio, Coving- 


toll and l^ouisvillc. Kentucky. After the war he went to FiUrope 
and studied in the hospitals, after which he returned to Racine 
and engaged in [nactice. He held degrees from the Ohio Medical 
("ollege and the l\ush Medical College of Chicago. 

Another })hvsician who came to Southeastern Wisconsin in 
184(i was T)r. A. P. Adams, who came from New York and located 
in what is now the Town of Paris, Kenosha County. He had a 
large pi'actice about Union Grove and folknved his profession 
until just befoi'c his death on .Tune 8, 18()9. aged seventy-three 

His son, Henry D. Adams, read medicine in his father's office 
and in Fehruai'y, 1852, was gi'aduated at the Rush Medical Col- 
lege of Chicago, though he had assisted his father foi' some time 
before going to college. On March 29, 1847, he married Miss 
Priscilla, daughter of Rev. E. S. Cradwell. Both father and s(»n 
were successful and respected physicians, and although not i-esi- 
dents of Racine County as it is at present, they had quite a 
num})er of patrons in the 'ro\\ns of Hover, Yorkville and Blount 

The first city (lii'e(-t<iry of Racine, published in 18r)(), shows 
the following ]iliysicians then living in the town: William l>aum- 
bach, Bushnell B. Cary, E. Everett, Samuel H. (iraves, Pliilo R. 
Hoy, Egbert Jameison, John L. Page, James S. Shei)herd. P]lias 
Smith, C. Si)iegle, S. S. Stevens, Joseph B. Talcott, :\Iathias R. 
Teegarden, John Thompson and Warren Wadsworth. Most of 
these men passed away without leaving a sufticient record of 
themselves from which to compile any accurate account of their 
]irofessioual career, though one of them — Br. John L. Page — 
is known to have been a physician of more than usual prominence. 

Dr. John L. Page was born at the Town of Heerfield, New 
Hampshire, March Ki, 1815. While still in his boyhood, his ])ar- 
ents removed to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he received 
a good education in the academy, and upon leaving school began 
the study of medicine. For some reason he changed his mind 
and t(»ok up the law and in 18H8 came west with a view of ])rac- 
ticing that profession. He soon discovered that he was "not cut 
out for a lawyer" and resumed the study of medicine. In 1845 
he I'cceived the degree of iM. 1). from tlu' medical department of 
the St, Ijouis University, after which he spent some time in the 
hospitals of New Yoi'k. In 1848 he located at Racine. In 1854, 


when the clidlcra cpidcinic hrokc out in Chicago, lie went to that 
city and won a national I'cputation hy his methods ol' treatment. 
He was then called to the chair of materia nu'dica and thera])eu- 
tic8 in the Iowa Medical College, hut upon the hreakini;- out of 
the Civil War rctui'iied to Racine and was made surgecm of the 
Fourth Wisconsin Infantry. After the wai' he was foi- a time 
surgeon of the National Soldiers' Home at Milwaukee, lie was 
a prominent memher of the Masonic fraternity; helonucd to 
St. Luke's Episcopal Church; served as county physician and as 
pi-esident of the Racine Board of Health, and was for years a 
member of the Milwaukee Board of United States Ivxaminin- 
Surgeons for Pensions. 

His brother, Ur. Kdwin A. C. Page, also practiced for some 
time in Racine and had the reputation of being a skilled physi- 
cian. Dui'ing the excitement that followed tlic discovery of gold 
in California he started for the T^icitic Coast, but returned to 
Racine after a short absence and resumed his ]n-actice. He was 
also a member of the Masonic fraternitw He died suddenly in 
Fel)ruary, 1860. 

In 1853 Dr. Joel H. Coopei- located at Burlington. He was 
born in Windsor County, Vennont, Api-il 20, 1821, and was edu- 
cated in the Wesleyan Uniyersity at Middletown, Connecticut, 
after which he studied medicine. In 1844 he came west, first 
locating in Illinois. The next year lie removed to Spring Prairie. 
Walworth County, where he practiced medicine and kept a drug 
store, and was elected to the Legislature in 1852. He then came 
to Burlington, where he engaged in the practice of his ])i-ofession 
and took an active part in public affairs. In 1861 he was ap- 
pointed postmaster at Burlington and held the office until 1874. 
His son, Henry A. Cooper, was elected to represent the First 
Wisconsin District in Congress in 1892 and has been elected at 
each succeeding election to 1914. Like his father, he is a Re])ub- 
lican in his political afifiliations. 

Dr. John G. Meacham, who came to the City of K'acinc in the 
fall of 1862, was born in Somersetshire, England, May 27, 1823, 
and came with his parents to the United States in 1H:',1. Ten 
years later he took his first course of lectures in the (Jeneva 
Medical College and in 1843 was graduated at the Castleton Med- 
ical College. Castleton, Vermont. After practicing at Warsaw, 
Xew York, foi' sevei-al years he took a coui'se at Hellevue Ilosjutal 


College, in New York City, and then came to Racine. During the 
Civil War he was enrollment surgeon for the Wyoming District, 
and was for one year the surgeon in charge of Camp Utley at 
Ra(dne. Doctor Meacham was a member of the American Med- 
ical Association; president of the Wisconsin Medical Association 
in 1881; served as president and secretary of the Racine County 
Medical Society; was a member of the Brainerd Medical Society 
and the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences, and wrote a 
number of articles for the leading medical journals. He was 
mayor of Racine for three terms and was one of the founders of 
St. Luke's Hospital. His death occurred on February 1, 1896. 

His son, -John (i. M('a<-h;nii, Jr., graduated at the Rush l\Ied- 
ical College at the age of nineteen years and is now a practicing 
physician of Racine; and a brother, William G. Meacham, grad- 
uated in the medical department of the University of New York 
in 1855. He practiced at Warsaw, New York, until the breaking 
out of the Civil War, when he entered the army as assistant sur- 
geon of a New York regiment and was with General Sheridan in 
the Shenandoah Valley. In 1869 he came to Racine County, but 
never practiced after his arrival. He is now living in the Town 
of Mount Pleasant at the ripe old age of eighty-six years. 

Among the pioneer physicians of Racine County may be men- 
tioned Doctor Darling, of Bui'lington; Dr. Clark Nettleton, who 
owned a farm in the To\\n of Raymond and practiced there and 
in Racine; Dr. D. P. Wooster, a son of Daniel Wooster, who came 
to the county in 1836; Doctor Schneider, a German physician; 
Dr. J. ]\1. Tillij)augh, whose widow still lives in Racine, and Dr. 
C. S. Duncombe, who was probacy the first homeopathic physi- 
cian in the county. Dr. Homer Campbell, son of Owen Campliell, 
one of the early settlers of Yorkville, was also one of the old-time 
doctors of Racine County. 

Others who came at a later date and practiced here forty or 
more years ago were: Samuel J. Martin, a homeopath, who came 
in 1869; Doctor Ozan, another homeopathic jjliysieian, who settled 
in the nortlici-n })art of Kenosha County at a comparatively 
early date; Dr. A. A. Kitchingman, who located in Raymond in 
1870, and whose son, Ray S. Kitchingman, afterward became a 
physician; Dr. F. R. Garlock, who came in 1874; Dr. Charles 
Egan, in 1875; Dr. P. J. Pope and John G. Achenbach, in 1876. 
Some of these doctors are still practicing in the county. 



About the time the State of Wisconsin was admitted into the 
Union in 1848, a State Medical Society was organized, a few of 
the Racine County physicians becominc; members. During the 
war of 1861-65, this society went down, but it was reorganized in 
1867, some of the doctors in Racine County taking part in the 

A Racine County Medical Society was organized many years 
ago, but it was allowed to perish and its records have been lost. 
About the beginning of the present century the American Med- 
ical Association adopted a rule that, in order to be a member of 
that association, a physician must belong to a recognized county 
medical society. Following this ruling of the national associa- 
tion, the present Racine County Medical Society was organized 
on May 1, 190.3, at which time the following officers were chosen: 
Dr. Walter S. Haven, president; Dr. Thomas N. Schnetz, first 
vice-president; Dr. John ]\Ieacham, second vice-president; Dr. C. 
F. Browne, secretary; Dr. Soren Sorenson, treasurer, Drs. F. J. 
Pope, S. C. Buchan and F. R. Garlock, censors. 

Meetings are held quarterly, in ]\rarch, June, September 
and December, and the officers are elected annually at the De- 
cember meeting. Since the organization of the society the con- 
stitution and by-laws have been amended to dispense with one of 
the vice-presidents and the offices of secretary and treasurer have 
been consolidated. The officers elected in December, 1915, were: 
Dr. Samuel C, Buchan, president; Dr. W. A. Fulton, vice-presi- 
dent; Dr. Susan Jones, secretary and treasurer; Drs. Walter S. 
Haven, George W. Nott and F. A. Malone, censors; Dr. J. S. 
Keech, delegate to the state convention; Dr. F. F. Newell, alter- 
nate. At the close of the year 1915 the society numbered forty 
members. The meetings are usvially held at the rooms of the 
Commercial Club or at the Hotel Racine, and are conducted along 
the lines suggested by the American Medical Association. A 
paper pertaining to some phase of medical practice is read by one 
of the members, and is discussed by those present, after which 
the meeting becomes informal or more of a social character. 
Through these meetings the doctors of the county have become 
better acquainted and a more fraternal feeling developed. 



Throunii the influence (if the State ^Medical Society and the 
\-aii(ais county medical societies of Wisconsin, the Legislature of 
1897 passed an act providing for the establishment of a State 
IJoard of Medical Examiners, to he appointed as follows: 

"The Governor shall ai)point a Board of Medical Examiners, 
to he known as the 'Wisconsin State Board of Medical Examin 
ers,' consisting of eight members. Such appointments shall be 
made from separate lists presented to him every year; one list 
of ten names ])r('sented by the Wisconsin State ^Tedical Society, 
one list of ten names presented by the Homeopathic Medical So- 
ciety of the State of Wisconsin, one list of ten names presented 
by the Wisconsin Eclectic Medical Society, and one list of tivc 
names presented by the Wisconsin State Osteopathic Association. 
In case any of said societies or associations fail to present such 
list of names, the Uovernor may fill vacancies in the board by 
appointment from the last list hied by such association or society 
previous to the occurrence of such vacancy.* * * Three mem- 
ijers of said board shall be allojiathic, two shall l)e homeopathic, 
two eclectic, and one osteopathic, and shall all be licentiates of 
said l)oard." 

All persons Ix'ginniug or desiring to begin the practice of 
nu'dicine in the state, according to any of the schools recognized 
by the law, must ap])ly to the state board for a license and pre- 
sent a diploma from some accredited school of medicine. The 
applicant is then examined by the member or members of the 
board representing that system of practice in materia medica. 
therapeutics and practice, and if found ([ualified a license is 
issued, which nmst be recorded with the county clerk in the 
county whei'c such applicant intends to practice. 

The law fui-lhei' ])rovi(les that no license shall In- issued to 
any one "guilty of inniioral. dishonorable or unprofessional con- 
duct," such as advei'tisiiig along certain lines, accepting fees for 
and guaranteeing the cui-c of known incurable diseases, or divulg- 
ing a secret obtained while serving in a ]>rof'essi(inal capacity, 
nor shall any license be issued to ])ersons addicted to the use of 
iiai'cotic (li'ugs. The tendency of this hiw has been to place the 
medical |ii-ofession u])on a higher ])lane and protect the jjhysician 
from the competition of irresponsible ])ractitioners. 



Following- is a list of the doctors of Racine County at the 
beginning of the yeai' lf)l(). 'riiis list has been eonipiled from 
various sources and is believed to contain the name of every 
licensed physician in the county, though it is possible that the 
name (if some one has lieeii omitted, or that the list contains 
the name of one who has since left the county. 

City of Racine — -Tens Andersen, (Jeorge Brazeaii, H. E. 
I>reckenridge, Henry J. Brehm, Theodore G. Brehm, C. F. 
Browne, Samuel C. Buchan, Frederick Christensen, William P. 
Collins, John T. Coor, Frank L. Faneher, Lewis E. Fazen, James 
Fitzgibl)on, Argo M. Foster, jMaynard A. Froney, Conrad K. 
Hahn, Jorgen W. Hansen, William C. Hanson, John H. Hogan, 
Walter S. Haven, William (!. Hyde, Susan Jones, J. S. Keech, 
Robert A. Kitto, Thomas J. McCroiy, Gilbert M. McNitt, John 
Meacham, John G. Meaeham, Albert L. Nelson, George W. Nott, 
Francis J. Pope, F. W. Pope, Rali)h A. Rugh, William P. Sal- 
breiter, Luther N. Schnetz, John Schulze, Soren Sorenscm, Ed- 
ward A. Taylor, Robert C. Thackeray, Emil L. Tompach, E. Von 
Buddenbrock, William G. Wheeler, Alexander J. Williams. 

City of Burlington — W. A. Fulton, L. W. Hicks, Charles 
Meyst, Frank F. Newell, George E. Newell. J. W. Powei-s, W. A. 
Prouty, W. E. White. 

Caledonia — Edward Schriber. 

Corliss — F. G. Peehn, L. P. Valentine. 

Franksville — Henry Goebel, L. Schriber. 

North Cape — H. b". Keland. 

Union Grove— R. W. McCracken, C. A. Obertin. 

Waterford — Elmer A. Carberry, M. S. Corlett, F. A. Malone. 




Tht' elevating influence of music and its powers to please and 
ihann long have been recognized in Racine's social life. To give 
vent to the craving for expressions of joy, sorrow or humor in 
song is an innate attribute of the soul and, while the community 
was but a collection of a few modest little homes, the family 
circle was the only medium foi- a collective blending of instru- 
ment and voice. Before a great while came the singing school 
and when the settlement became of sufficient note and importance 
traveling companies of song birds were announced to appear to 
an eager and enthusiastic public. Many of the first residents of 
Racine were of cultured stock and the refining attributes of 
music were essential to their being. So that any one of the place, 
of talent in this direction, could count on the symi)athies of his 
audience, and the singer or musician from the outside world was 
always welcomed. 

Early in the '40s and '50s singing schools were the vogue. 
In 1844 the Misses Mary Slauson, Frances Gibson, Mary Rice, 
Phoebe Copeland and others were pupils in music under Mrs. 
James T. Manchester, and Mrs. Hopkins' School and the Racine 
Female Seminary had special classes in vocal and instrumental 
nuisic. The seminary advertised lessons on the "piano or sera- 
phine" at $8 per quarter. On August 28, 1852, appeared the 
nnnouncement that "Mr. A. Tibbetts and lady would open classes 
in vocal music, at the vestry room of the Presbyterian Church, 
on Saturday, September 4, at 7:30 o'clock P.M. Terms of tui- 
tion: Juvenile class, term of twenty evenings, 50 cents; adults, 
$1.00." Mrs. McMynn is authority for the statement that these 
teachers of music had quite a large and successful class. 

Instrumental music in the churches was endured if not 
entirely countenanced by the more radically inclined members 
against "that instrmnent of the devil," the organ. For it must 


l)c' known tliat to many good sonls of the church in primitive 
times, to bring a nuisical instrnment into the sanctuary of the 
l.oi(i was a desecration of His holy temi)le. Perhaps there are 
men and women living in Racine today wlio remember wlicii they 
first saw a melodeon or an organ in a house of religious worship. 
They will then call to mind the exiDressions on the faces of the 
"hardshells" or "conservatives." And, no doubt, a comparison 
will attend their trij^ back into the past in recalling to the mental 
vision the queerly diminutive organ of that day and the great 
])il)e organ of the present generation, costing its thousands of 
dollars and now considered "an indisijensable" in every and 
any temple of the Most High, that thinks anything of itself and 
has the price. 

Singing societies, orchestras and brass bands were a part 
of the advanced civilization of Racine when the place was but a 
hamlet, and as early as 1853 a band was organized and named 
after its leader, Jacob Esser. This organization afterwards was 
known as the "Governor's (luards" Band, named for a company 
of militia which had been organized a short time before by George 
Wustimi, who was made cajjtain over the company, which was 
composed of German citizens. The "Guards" and its band had 
a hall f)n the west side of Seventh Street, between Main and 
Wisconsin, but it burned down about 1852, and their headquar- 
ters were transferred to a hall ovei- the Wustum store at 408 
Main Street; later Kawelti's Hall was the rendezvous. The band 
had for members J. Esser, leader; Hiram Retter, William Horn, 
Ghristian Ritt, Theodore Ritt, Hubbard Brown, Thomas Evans, 
John Happ, Fred Lersch, Frank Kammerer. 

Jacob Esser came to America and then to Racine in 1844, and 
at the time was unmarried. He bought a lot, on which was a log 
cabin, at the southwest corner of Villa and Thirteenth Streets, 
where his daughter, Mrs. Bernhard, is still living. He was a 
stone mason, and cooper in the winter seas(m. It is said that 
when St. Mary's Church was first built he played the clarionet 
to lead the singing, before that congregation had an organ. A 
little later he was assisted at the church by other musicians. 

In 1858 the American Bugle Band was organized by its first 
leader, John P. Jones, and a list of the meml)ers follows: John 
P. Jones, John R. Davis, A. Kellogg, E. Pritchard, F. Gibson, J. 
Prii)yl, C. Haas, A. Schneider, R. Daniels, L. C. Wentworth, E. P. 


» 5 

T.owell, D. C. Washl)iii-ii, II. M. Weiitworth, R. Jones. "Bui-U 
was added to the name because of the then noteworthy fact that 
the in.sti-unient phiyed by John R. Davis was a solid silver bugle 
which cost $150. When the Civil War broke out this t)and often 
played at ])atriotic gatherings to I'ally recruits and stir up enthn- 
siasni; its services always were tendered on these occasions with- 
ont a remuneration. The band was often fomid on hand at college 
functions of various kinds. 

The German (not "the little Gennan Band" of ti-adition) 
l>an(l was organized in 1865 and Charles Heyer was the leadei-; 
other members, John and Henry Broecker, Charles Haas, Jacol) 
Esser, Paul Bohn, Christian Retter and others. Competition 
between these bands was very lively whenever they hai)pened 
both to be out at the same time. Dui'ing one of the stin-ing cam- 
paiuiis shortly after the Civil War, the Democrats and the Re- 
publicans were having each a procession on the same day. the 
American Band heading the Republicans, and the German the 
Democratic hosts. The German Band l)oasted that it would blow 
the American tooters off the streets if ever it had the chance, 
so the news came. At any rate, the Republicans, headed by the 
Amei'ican Band in a wagon, had been parading over in the Foiu'th 
Ward and, returning to J\Iarket Square, found the German Band 
installed on the c(nirt-house steps, entertaining a large crowd. 
Mr. Davis, leading the American Band, ordered the wagon driven 
to the middle of the square, to the accompaniment of a quickstep, 
and warned the players that the tussle of their lives was on. 
The (piestion then to be decided was, which band could out-play 
and out-stay the other. The personel and political partisans of 
each encouraged the contestants in every w^ay to hang on. J. I. 
Case was particularly anxious that the Republican band should 
win. and the crowd was amused for two and a half hours before 
the German Band was blown out and retired, leaving the Bugle 
Band to play a final fanfare in token of victory. 

Other bands there were and many of them. There was the 
Racine Cornet Band, formerly the Racine City Band, originally 
oi'ganized in 1859. This, no doubt, was the German Band just 
alluded to. It was reorganized in 1877, with the following mem- 
bers: Charles Evanson, leader; Charles Bettray, Clarence Toste- 
vin, G(!()rge Creighton, Tliomas Rogan, James Wood, Anthony 
Hayek, W. H. Sumner, Jacob Hettrick, Erick Noren, Lafayette 


Pataillot, Louis Lawsoii. Then cainc nn for roeognition the Tem- 
ple of Honor Brass Band in 1878. 

Adolph KSchultc (irj^anizcd a band in 1876 and was its director 
until 1881, when he left the city; Hendrie (t Smith's Orchestra 
came into the field in 1876, and the band of that name was formed 
some time later. Broecker's Band and String Orchestra was also 
((I'^anized in the '70s. 

Porter Hu Hendrie 's Orchestra and (Quadrille Band was organ- 
ized in 1873; Klein's Orchestra and Quadrille Band in 1877; 
Hendrie & Smith's Quadrille and Reed Band in 1877. Before 
this, however, Lawson & Ha^vek's Orchestra and Quadrille Band 
was organized in 1863, l)y Louis M. Lawson and reorganized iu 
1873, with the above title. 

Perhaps it is not generally known that a former citizen of 
Racine composed the music for that ever popiilai- gospel song, 
"The Sweet Bye and Bye," but such is its history. J. P. Web- 
ster, a member of the American Bugle Band, was a fine nuisieian 
and composer, and while a resident of Racine, alxiut 1860, wrote 
the air to the song, and the first time it was sung in public was 
at a concert ))y the band, when Mr. Webster sang the beautifvil 
comi)(»sition as he accompanied himself on the piano. At the time 
the song was written its author was in the saloon business with 
a man named (iills(»n, another mem])er of the band. 

Sonic time previous to taking up his residence in Racine, 
Mr. Webster was associated with a high class traveling musical 
organization and, being of a sociable dis})osition and altogether 
a lovable fellow, who made friends easily, he was led into habits 
of drink that accomplished his ruin. He realized his disgrace and 
became subject to fits of melancholy and despf)ndeney, during 
which he would drink himself into a condition of oblivion to any 
sense of responsiliility. He was a man naturally of fine and high 
sentiments, with a sanguine temperament, and was capal)le of 
giving it fit expression, and it was a monstrous pity that such 
a man, "who was winged for flight, should have been impelled to 

How the music to the song liapi)ened to be written by J. P. 
Webster is told in Ira D. Sankey's "Story of the Hymns," by 
S. h'illmore Bennett, the authoi' of the words t(» the "Sweet B_ye 
and Bye." He says: 

"Mr. Webstei', like manv musicians, was of an exceedingly 






iici'Vdiis and sensitive nature, and subject to periods of depres- 
sion, in which he looked upon the dark side of things in life. I 
had learned his peculiarities s(i well that mi nieetiiiu- him I ciiuld 
tell at a u'hince if he was in one of liis melancholy moods, and i 
fdund that 1 could rouse him from them by giving him a new 
song or hymn to work on. On such an occasion he came into my 
place of business, walked down to the stove and turned his back 
to nie without speaking. I was at my tlesk writing. Pi'csently 
1 said, 'Webster, what is the matter now f 'It is no matter,' 
he replied, 'it will be all right bye and bye.' 

"The idea of the hvmn came to me like a flash of suidight, 
and I replied: 

" 'The Sweet Bye and Bye. would that not make a good 

" 'Maybe it would,' he answered, indifferently. 

"Turning to my desk, I penned the three verses and the 
chorus as fast as I could write. In the meantime two friends, 
Mr. N. H. Carswell and S. E. Bright, had come in. I handed the 
liynm to Mr. Webster. As he read it his eye kindled and his 
whole demeanor changed. Stepping to the desk he began writing 
the notes in a moment. Presently he requested Mr. Bright to 
hand him his violin, and then he played the melody. In a few 
moments more I had the notes for the four parts of the chorus 
jotted down. I think it was not more than thirty minutes from 
the time I took my pen to write the words l)efore the two gentle- 
men, and Mr. Webster and I, were singing the hymn." 

Hezekiah Butterworth's story gives Webster's date of birth 
as the year 1819 and death as 1875, and credits him with wi-iting 
the nmsic to the hymn in 1868. 


There luis been no attempt to give in this article a complete 
histoi'y of nmsical oi'ganizati(»ns in Racine. To do that would 
take more space in this volume than could well be afforded. But 
the reader is assured that the subject is a very pleasant one to 
the writer and he fain woidd dwell upon it to a greater length, 
hut, noblesse olilige. However, the city has maintained and en- 
couraged many musical associations and individual artists by 
its ])atronage. 

The Danish and Welsh people of Racine, of which there is a 


large and inlliK'iitial contingent, are probably the foremost in 
nnisieal circles in the city. The people of both nationalities love 
iiinsic and it is boiii and bred of their fibre. They have their 
societies and contribute to the i)leasures of all by skillful rendi- 
tion and interpi-etation of refined and classical selections from 
noted composers of the world. The Dania Society is one of the 
])opular (n-ganizations and is a prominent factor in the promotion 
of musical entertainments. Some years ago the Dania erected a 
handsome home, where its members meet and devise ways and 
uicans to benetit themselves and others in the social amusements 
sdught by people of refinement and good taste. The Dania Broth- 
erhood also should be spoken of in this regard and the Belle City 
Male Chpr-us has a special place in the esteem of the community, 
.\s it has been a leading attraction at the annual Eisteddfod, held 
by the Welsh ])eo})le of the States of Illinois and Wisconsin, and 
at which the chorus has taken many prizes. In 1902 the Treble 
Clef, a woman's choi-us, was organized by Danish talent, with 
forty voices. And these sweetly singing Danes have another 
chorus, the Ilandet Singing Society, organized forty years ago by 
Professor Theodore Elberg, a noted Danish editor and nnisical 
director. Then there are the Cerman associations, most of which 
have music for their fetich. The members ai-e among the most 
prominent of the citizens here and have their Deiitscher Frauen 
Verein and the Deutscher Maenner Verein. The Scotch have 
their Caledonian Society. 






From a historic point of view the Old Settlers' Society of 
Racine County is doubtless the most important society ever or- 
<>anized within the county limits. About the close of the Civil 
War, whenever two or three old residents would get together to 
exchange reminiscences of pioneer days, the subject of organizing 
an association of old settlers would come up for discussion. But 
it was not until early in 1870 that any definite action along that 
line was taken. Then a few persons met and decided that the 
time was ripe for such an organization. They prepared and 
issued the following call for a preliminary meeting: 

"All residents of Racine County, who have been in the state 
for more than thirty years, are invited to meet at the court-house 
on Monday evening, March 14, 1870, for the purpose of organiz- 
ing an Old Settlers' Society. 

"By request of 


At the appointed time quite a number of old residents assem- 
bled in the court-room. Lorenzo Janes was elected chairman and 
S. B. Peck was chosen secretary. A motion was made and carried 
that the chairman a])point a committee of five to prepare a con- 
stitution and present it to the meeting for adoption. The proba- 
l)ilities are, as is usual in such cases, that something in the way 
of a constitution had been prepared in advance of the meeting, 
ill anticipation of this action. However this may have been, Mr. 
Janes appointed as a committee John A. Carswell, Archibald 
roo})er, Alanson Filer, Benjamin Pratt and C. J. True. While 
the committee was out working on the constitution Eldad Smith, 


L. S. Blako and others entortaiiicd the meeting with recollections 
of early incidents in Racine County. Within a reasonable time 
the committee retm-ned to the court-room and reported the fol- 

"Preamble — For the purpose of reviving old associations 
and renewing the ties of former years, the midersigned do hereby 
unite in an association, to be known as the 'Old Settlers' Society 
of the County of Racine,' and adopts the following 


"Article I. Any person of good moral character, who has 
resided in the state for more than thirty years and is now a resi- 
dent of Racine (\)unty, may become a member of this society 
by signing his or her name and paying an initiation fee of 
fifty cents. 

"Article 11. The officers of this society shall consist of a 
president, three vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer and an 
executive committee of five members. 

"Article III. The president, vice-presidents, secretary and 
treasurer shall perf(»rm such duties as usually pertain to their 
res])ective offices, but all matters relating to the society shall be 
under the control and management of the executive committee. 

"Article IV. The officers of this society shall be elected by 
ballot on the second Monday of January in each year. 

"Article V. New members may be acbnitted by the execu- 
tive committee, provided that thirty years shall have elapsed 
since the applicant's first residence in the State of Wisconsin. 

"Article VI. The executive committee shall give notice, 
through the newspai)ers or otherwise, of the time of the funeral 
of any of the deceased members, and all members, if possible, 
shall attend said funeral, wearing the society badge. 

"Article VII. Whenever seventy-five persons shall have 
signed this constitution, they may elect officers and organize the 
society; and it is understood that women may become members 
of this society Avithout paying the initiation fee. 

"Article VIII. This constitution may be altered or amended 
at any annual meeting, by a majority of the members present." 

The constitution was ado])ted, after which the following pei"- 
sons came forward and affixed their names. They may therefore 
be called the "charter members" of the Old Settlers' Society: 

—-7 ^IP 1 ' ' - - 



■ . ;^K^ 


From left to right are: L. S. Blake. Alvin Raymond. Nelson Gatliff, A. H. Blake, Nelson Walker, 
Mrs. J. O. Bartlett, Mrs. Alanson Filer, Alanson Filer and grand-daushter, Elsie Wentworth ; Gilbert 
Knapp, Benjamin Pratt, James Walker, Alfred Gary. Sheridan Kimball. Stephen Campbell, Thomas Place. 


R. H. Baker, J. O. Bartlett, L. S. Blake, Norman Clark, Archibald 
Cooper, Angus B. Crane. William S. Derby, James T. Elliott, 
John A. Carswell, Alanson Filer. J. PI. (lijison. AV. H. (iresitt, 
Samuel Huod, William S. Hoyt, Lorenzo Janes, Nathan Joy, 
Sheridan Kimball, Sanmel G. Knight, Seth P. Phelps, Benjamin 
Pratt. Alvin Raymond, H. Raymond, Eldad Smith, C. J. True, 
Thomas Place, Adney Wooster, S. B. Peck and Levi J. Billings. 

Of the twenty-eight who signed the meml)ership i-oll at that 
lirst meeting, seven came to the covmty in 1835; nine, in 183(); 
three, in 1837; one, in 1838, and eight, in 1839. After the adop- 
tion and signing of the constitution the meeting adjourned. The 
executive committee or, rather, the committee that drafted the 
constitution acting as such, began a canvass for additional mem- 
bers. When the required seventy-five were enrolled, another 
meeting was held, at which the following officers were elected: 
Lucius S. Blake, president; Benjamin Pratt, William S. Hoyt 
and Thomas Place, vice-presidents; S. B. Peck, secretary and 
treasm-er; Archibald Cooper. R. H. Baker, J. O. Bartlett. Alvin 
RaynKmd and Pliny M. Perkins, executive committee. 

On motion, the secretary was instructed to furnish each of 
the newspapers of the county with a (•oi)y of the proceedings of 
the meeting for publication. A motion was also carried instruct- 
ing the executive connnittee to tix upon a time and place for 
holding an "Old Settlers' Meeting." The committee reported 
that Racine had been selected as the place and the first Wednes- 
day in Jmie as the time, and on that date the first old settlers' 
meeting in Racine County was held. It was largely attended 
aufl great interest was aroused in events of early days. 

The meeting was held in Belle City Hall, in the City of 
Racine, and was called to order promptly at 10 o'clock A. M. by 
President L. S. Blake. Rev. Cyrus Nichols offered an appropriate 
]nayer, aftei' which Rev. M. P. Kinney, of Rockford, Illinois, 
formerly superintendent of the Racine pid^lic schools, delivered 
the principal address. Capt. Gilbert Knapp, Samuel E. Chap- 
man. Lewis Royce, W. C. Allen, Elam Beardsley and Hon. J. R. 
Doolittle also spoke briefly. A connnittee on resolutions, con- 
sisting of J. A. Carswell. Seneca Raymond and J. O. Bartlett, 
presented a series of seven resolutions that were mianimouslv 
adopted, the society voted to hold the next meeting at Burling- 


toll, after which the assemblage sang "Aiild Lang Syne" and 

On .laimarv 9, 1871, the tii-st reguhir meeting, as pro- 
vided for in tlie constitution, met at the court-liouse at Kaeine, 
for the purpose of electing officers. Court happened to l)e in 
session and the Old Settlers' Society adjonrned to Lawton's 
Hall, whei-e the first business transacted was the adoption of an 
amendment to the eonstitntion increasing the execntive comit- 
tee to seven members. The following officers were then elected: 
President, Nelson R. Norton; vice-presidents, Alanson Filer, 
John Newman and Eleazer Everit; secretary-treasurer, S. B. 
Peck; executive committee, J. A. Carswell, Charles Waite, Archi- 
bald C()o]>er. Willinm B-illack, E. 1). Filei'. T. I). Mnrris and 
J. O. Bai'tlett. By a vote of those ])resent the executive com- 
mittee was instru('te(l to call a meeting of the society at l>ur- 
lington (tn Febi'uai-y 22, 1871. and to "provide speakers and 
make all arrangements for the same." 

The new executive connnittee met in the supervisors' room 
in the court-house at Racine on January 20, 1871, and perfected 
arrangements for the Burlington meeting by securing the serv- 
ices of Judge Charles E. Dyer to deliver a historical address. 
An account of the Biirlington meeting says: 

"The ]u-esident then introduced Hem. Charles E. Dyer as 
the orator of the day, who gave a most interesting discourse on 
the early history of Pacine County, beginning with the City of 
Racine and then taking the towns in their or<ler. The narrative 
was one of deep pathos, interspersed with scenes of the ludi- 
crous and mirthful, which held the attention of the aTidience for 
more than two hours." 

At the close of .fudge l)yei''s address a song was rendered 
in German l)y the Teutonia Club of Burlington. A unanimous, 
vote of thanks was then given Judge Dyer for his "eloquent and 
instructive address," and the following resolution was adopted: 

"Resolved, That a subscription be taken up and the proceeds 
placed in the hands of the executive committee to procure the 
publication of the address in pamphlet form; and, further, that 
every subsci-iber shall be furnished said ])amphlet at cost for 
the amount of their subscriptions; and also that the connnittee 
a7'e requested to add further items of history, mider the super- 
vision of Mr. Dver." 


Oil motion, the following named gentlemen wei'c appointed 
a committee to solicit additional suliseriptions: Alanson Filei-, 
-I. A. Carswell and Samuel Hood, of Raeine; T. W. (Jault, of 
WatertVn-d; 8anniel Onniston. of Yorkville; Franklin Nims and 
Pliny iM. Perkins, of Jinrlington; Joshua Pierce, of j\Iount Pleas- 
ant; Evan Kaepscadt, of Norway; F. E. Hoyt and R. North, of 
Rochester: II. T.. ({ilniore, of Raymond, and T. T). Moi-ris, of 

The conmiittee raised a considerable simi of money and the 
i-evised address of Judge Dyer, with some additions, was ]>ul)- 
lished in the form of a neat pamphlet and widely distributed 
(iver the county. If the Old Settlers' Society had never done 
anything else it would have rendered itself inunoi'tal, for the 
address of Judge Dyer, delivered at Burlington on February 22, 
1871. contains the gist of the early history of the county. It has 
l>een the nucleus of all the history that has since been written, 
and will form the basis of pioneer historical research for years 
to come. But the society has gone on holding its annual picnics 
from that time to the i)resent. On July 14, 1902, the society was 
incorporated by David H. Flett, C. M. llambright and John S. 
I>lakey. with a capital stock of $2,500, in shares of one dollar 
each, under the name of the "Racine County Old Settlers' Soci- 
ety." The principal reason for the incorporation is explained in 
Article I of the articles of incorporatif>n, to wit: 

"The object, business and purposes of such incorporation 
ai'c and shall be the promotion and advancement of the social 
and moral well-being of all old settlers of Racine County, the 
holding of periodical meetings for mutual benefit and improve- 
ment and other educational and benevolent purposes exclusively, 
and the purchase and holding of real and personal property inci- 
dent to the business of such corporation." 

Soon after the society was incorporated the executive com- 
mittee purchased a tract of land just west of the Village of UuioTi 
drove for an "Old Settlers' Park." Here, in a beautiful grove, 
a pavilion has been erected and meetings are held every summer. 
The meeting for 191(i was held on June 15tli, at which time the 
ti-casurer rej)orted a balance of $422.30 in the treasury, indi- 
cating that the society is in a prosperous condition. It is 
expressly provided in the articles of incorporation that no stoek- 
liolder shall ever receive dividends or pecuniary profits from his 


stock. Tlu' officers at the beji,iiiniiig of 1916 were: John S. 
Blakey, president; John T. Gittings, secretary; H. J. Smith, 


Soon after the close of the Civil War in 1865, a wave of 
"tem])('rance reform" spread over the country and in neai'ly 
every village and city temperance societies were organized. The 
oldest of these were the Sons of Temperance, which Avas intro- 
duced in Racine County by Stejohen Crosby, who had joined the 
order in Western New York before coming to Wisconsin. 
Through his influence Belle City Division, No. 4, was organized 
on March 20, 1867, with fifteen charter members, and Dr. Crosby 
was elected the first worthy patriarch. It was organized in the 
Odd Fellows' Hall and met there until Jmie 14, 1870, when it 
moved into a hall of its own. In December of that year the 
(Jrand Division of Wisconsin met at Racine. There were then 
thirteen subdivisions in the state, witli a total membership of 
548. In 1871 the outlook was far from encouraging, but Mr. 
Crosby and a few faithful followers held meetings in the session 
room of the Presbyterian Church. Among those were W. P. 
Burbeck, John E. Davis, L. H. Miller, M. J. Higgins, William 
Street and Z. C. Wentworth. Through their energy and persist- 
ence the "Sons" finally made themselves felt, and during the. 
next three years a number of subdivisions were organized by the 
members of Belle City. 

A division of the Sons of Temperance was organized at 
Waterford on February 12, 1872, with twenty-eight members and 
Dr. George F. Newell as the first Avorthy patriarch. The order 
reached the zenith of its power about 1878, when there were 
about six thousand members in the state. Belle City Division 
then numbered 122 members and the one at Waterford had over 
thirty. These were the only two divisions in Racine Comity of 
which any history can be obtained. 

In the early '7()s the Indepcudent Order of (iood Templars 
made its appearance as a temperance organization. Owing to 
its mysticism of a seci-et work, with signs, grips and passwords, 
and the showy regalia worn by the officers of the lodges on 
public occasions, it made rapid growth for a few years, while 
the S(ms of Tem])erauc(' declined. 

The first lodge of (iood Templars in Racine County was 


organized at Roehoster in January, 1872, with .1. I). Wrif>ht as 
worthy chief templar and Lucy E. Nash as vice-teniplar. Racine 
Lodge, No. 106, was organized on Novemlx'r 11, 1874, with L. A. 
Harrington, worthy chief t('ni])hu'; Lizzie Cape, vice-tenii)lar; 
E. C. Waterhouse, secretary; Mrs. L. R. Harrington, treasurer. 
The lodge started with sixteen charter members and grew to a 
membership of over fifty. A lodge of Good Templars was also 
organized at Union Grove, about the same time, and there were 
a number of lodges that met in the school houses throughout the 
county. The growth of the Good Templars was like a mushi'oom 
and its existence was of the same character. After a few years 
the members apparently grew tired of attending the lodge meet- 
ings, charters were surrendered and the order perished, except 
in a few localities, where it lingered until about the beginning 
of the present century. 

Almost contemporary with the Good Templars was the order 
known as the Temple of Honor, which was similar in nature and 
purpose. On March 28, 1876, Temple of Honor, No. 4, was 
organized at Burlington and was the first in the county. It 
started with twenty members and in a short time grew to sixty- 
five. Among those who were active in promoting its work were: 
H. A. Sheldon, C. G. Foley, T. M. Martin, G. W. Stone, C. A. 
Jones, F. H. Nims, J. B. Hall, W. P. Goff and J. G. Wilson. At 
one time this temple had nearly four hundi-ed dollars in its 

On November 16, 1876, a number of members from Burling- 
ton went to Rochester and organized a Temple of Honor there 
with a membership of thirty-one. W. B. Stetson \vas the first 
presiding officer and among the members were: J. E. Jackson, 
E. B. and Robert Adams, James Bell, John Gleason, G. H. Blake 
and Joseph Sunnners. Two days later the Temple of Honor was 
organized at Waterford by parties from Burlington and Roches- 
ter, with seventy-four charter members. Dr. George F. Newell 
was the first presiding officer and Charles Palmer was secretary, 
or recorder. 

Racine Temple of Honor, No. 76, was organized on November 
20, 1876, by Grand Worthy Chief Watrous of Milwaukee. The 
temple started with thirty-one charter members and W. T. Lewis 
as the presiding officer. A Temple of Honor was also organized 


at L'uioii (ii'dvc ill the tall of 187(), hut its liistdi'v can not he 

All tlicsc various tciupd'anee societies have passed into liis- 
tory as "things that were." How nnich good they accomplished 
while they were in existence it would lie difficult to determine. 
The niend)ers used their influence to induce men to give up tlie 
drink hahit, numhers signed the ])ledge under this influence and 
many of those who signed lived u]» to theii' ])ledge and lived 
solx'T lives. 


Of all the secret fraternal orders Freemasonry stands first 
in ]ioint of senioi'ity. Just when and where the order originated 
is not definitely known. A Masonic tradition says it was intro- 
duced in England by Prince Edwin aliouf 92(5 A. D., hut does not 
make plain where Prince Edwin gained his knowledge of the 
fraternity. There are Masonic documents dated hack to 1.390, 
and Mother Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland was organized in 
1599. As it has been in continuous existence since that time, it 
is the oldest known lodge in the world. In June, 1717, the Grand 
Lodge of England was organized and it is the mother of all 
Masonic bodies throughout the English-speaking world. 

Tn M'AO Daniel Coxe, of New Jersey, was appointed by the 
English (irand Lodge "Provincial (Irand Master of the Provinces 
of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America." About 
the same time a provincial grand master was appointed for the 
New England colonies. Before the close of the year 17^50 a 
lodge was organized at Philadelphia and one was established 
in New Ham])shire, each of which (dainis to have been the first 
lodge in America. After the Revolution a different system was 
adopted in this country. A grand lodge was organized in each 
state. Charters were issued to Masons in the new territories 
from the nearest grand lodge, and when a sufficient number of 
lodges had been organized that territory or state would form a 
grand lodge of its own, so that now each state constitutes a grand 
jurisdiction of its own. 

Masonry was introduced into Racine County by the organ- 
ization of Racine Lodge, No. 18, which was instituted under 
dispensation on November 22, 1847, with Dr. B. B. Cary, wor- 
shipful mastei'; Isaac J. Ullman, senior warden; J. C. Howell, 
Junioi- warden; A. C. Barry, secretary; James H. Hall, treasurer; 


H. T. Sanders, senior deacon; O. A. Stafford, junior deaeon; J. B. 
Gates and H. N. Chapman, stewards; N. D. llaslvcll, tiler. The 
lodge received a charter from the Wisconsin Grand Lodge on 
January 15, 1848. This lodge is still in existence, has a strong 
membership, and holds its regular meetings on the first and third 
Mondays of each month in the Masonic Tem])le at 505-511 South 
Main Street. The officers at the beginning of the year 1916 were: 
F. L. Norton, worshipful master; Henry M. Thomas, senior 
warden; A. B. Welty, junior warden; James Mainland, secretary; 
A. F. Erickson, treasurer. It had 359 members on December 31, 

The next Masonic lodge to be organized was Burlington 
Lodge, No. 28. It was granted a dispensation on February 7, 
1849, and was instituted under a charter dated December 15, 
1849. For a time this lodge met in the Odd Fellows' Hall, but 
later secured a hall of its own. The last report of the Wisconsin 
Grand Lodge gives the number of members as 117. 

Belle City Lodge, No. 92, began its career under a dispensa- 
tion dated June 11, 1858, and received its charter on June 9, 1858. 
The first officers under the charter were: Henry Burbeck, wor- 
shipful master; Richard Cole, senior warden; A. Tyrrell, junior 
warden; Enoch Strother, secretary; II. Ludington, treasurer; 
L. W. Faulkner, senior deacon; G. A. Ludington, junior deacon; 
Elisha Norton and William Copeland, stewards; William Smet- 
hurst, tiler. The principal officers for 1916 were as follows: 
A. B. Clifford, worshipful master; Charles C. Nelson, senior 
warden; Hugo W. Ott, junior warden; Albert C. Mickelson, sec- 
retary; William H. Bell, treasurer. This is the strongest Masonic 
lodge in the county, having 421 members, according to the last 
Grand Lodge report. Regular meetings are held on the second 
and fourth Thui'sdays of each month in the Masonic Temple on 
Main Street. 

Temple Lodge, No. 96, Free and Accepted Masons, was or- 
ganized at Waterford under a dispensation dated April 20, 1856, 
with Samuel E. Chapman, worshipful master; Hiram D. JNIorse, 
senior warden; Nelson II. Palmer, junior warden; George W. 
Sproat, secretary; Charles Moe, treasm-er. The lodge started 
with eleven members and the first meetings were held in a back 
room in Mr. Chapman's residence. In 1862 a hall was secured 
over Palmer & Moe's store. At one time this lodge had over 


fifty uiciiilxTs. l)ut thf last (ii'uiul Lodge report gives the luuiiber 
in 1915 as forty-one. 

In 1865 eight Master Masons at Union Grove signed a peti- 
tion to the Qrand Lodge for a dis])ensation to organize a lodge. 
The petition was granted and a lodge was organized, with B. R. 
Clark, worshipful master; T. H. Carlton, senior warden; Garn 
Hulett, junior warden. A eharti-r was subsequently granted to 
the lodge, but after a struggling existence of several years the 
charter was surrendered and the lodge passed out of existence. 
The present ^fasonic h)dge at L'^nion Grove was organized under 
a dispensation dated April 4, 1904, and on the 15th of June fol- 
lowing this lodge was chartered as Union Grove, No. 288. It has 
about forty members and is in a tidurishing condition. 

Orient Chapter, No. 12, Royal Arch Masons, of Racine, was 
organized under dispensation on December 4, 1854, and chartered 
on February 7, 1855. The first officers under the <'harter were: 
James Bullen, high priest; I. J. Ullman, king; (J. Bronson, scribe. 
The chapter now luuubers over two hundred members and holds 
regular meetings on the first and third Friday evenings of each 
month at the Masonic Temple. The high priest in 1916 was 
William F. Kisow, and Leo I. Redmond was secretary. 

Racine Commandei-y, No. 7, Knights Templars, received a 
dispensation to organize on August 7, 1865, and at the next 
annual meeting of the Wisconsin Grand Commandery, at Mil- 
waukee, January 3, 186(), a charter was granted. J. A. Horlick 
was the first eminent connnander; Julius Wooster, the first gen- 
eralissimo, and E. D. Filer, tlu> first captain-genei-al. This com- 
mandery now has a strong meml)ership and holds meetings in 
the Masonic Temple on the first Wednesday evening of each 
month. The principal officers in 1916 were: TlKmias W. Leslie, 
eminent commander; Louis Thronson, generalissimo; George A. 
Platz, captain-general; Milton W. Jones, secretary; Byron B. 
Northrop, treasurer. 

Racine Council, No. 5, Royal and ISelect Masters, meets 
quarterly in March, June, September and December, in the Ma- 
sonic Temple, and the Masonic Relief Board, which was organized 
in January, 1875, meets when occasion requires. The board in 
1916 was c.miiK)sed of J. W. Hall. J. J. IToernel and E. E. Gittins. 



The Order of the Eastern Star is a sort of "side degree" to 
Freemasonry, to which the wives, mothers and daughters of 
Master ^Masons are eligible. Local organizations are called chap- 
ters, of which there are three in Kacine Comity. 

Racine Chapter, No. 45, was organized under a dispensation 
gi-anted on February 7, 1893, and (Ui the 23rd of the same month 
received a charter. From a small charter membership the chap- 
ter has grown until the last report of the Crand Chapter credits 
it with 487 members. Regular meetings are held in the Masonic 
Temple on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The 
leading officers for 1916 were: Stewart AV. Chamberlin, worthy 
patron; Mrs. Caroline Kammerer. woi'thy matron; Mrs. Lydia 
Hanson, secretary. 

Union Grove Chapter, No. 71, was granted a dispensation 
on August (), 189."), and was instituted under a charter dated 
February 20, 1896. According to the rirand Lodge report for 
1915, it then had thirty-four members, with Royal Hilme, worthy 
patron; Mrs. Mary Scott, worthy matron; Miss Minnie Thomp- 
son, secretary. 

Burlington Chapter, No. 153, was instituted under a charter 
granted on February 23, 1905, though it had been organized 
imder dis])ensation on December 28, 1904. In 1915 it reported 
140 members, with Theo. Lightfield, worthy patron; Pearl Ow^en, 
worthy matron; Gertrude Wood, secretary. 


The origin of this order can be traced back t(j about 1745, 
when it made its appearance in England imder the name of the 
"Ancient and Most Noble Order of Bucks," in the ceremonies 
of which were many features found in modern Odd Fellowship. 
About 1748 Aristarchus Lodge, No. 9, held meetings in the Globe 
Tavern in London. Such meetings w^ere proscribed by the Eng- 
lish Government and about 1773 the order declined, though a 
few of the "Bucks" still met secretly, and about 1778 the words 
"Odd Fellow" first occur in the ritual. In 1809 a lodge at 
Manchester declared its independence and held meetings in 
defiance of the government proscription. Seeing that this lodge 
was not molested, several others joined with it in 1813 in form- 
ing the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows. Not long after this 


the; Older was transplauted to Aiueiica by the organization of 
Shakspere Lodge, No. 1, in the City of New York. It soon went 
down and the first permanent lodge in the United States was 
organized in 1819 l)y Thomas II. Wildey, of Baltimore. 

To the Odd Fellows belongs the distinction of having been 
the first fraternal society to organize a lodge in Racine County. 
As early as 1843 ten Odd Fellows got together in Burlington 
and formed a lodge, which was subsequently chartered by the 
(Jrand Lodge of Wisconsin. Fred Loven, of Kenosha, was the 
first noble grand, and James Catton, vice-grand. ^^H^iile the 
growth of the lodge was not rapid it was permanent, and in a 
few years it was able to acquire a good hall over Kantz's hard- 
ware store. Among those who assisted materially in building 
up this first lodge in the county Avere James Edmonds, Richard 
Weygard, Thomas Marsland, J. W. Edmonds and E. S. Voorhees. 
It is now in a flourishing condition and the members are proud 
of belonging to the first lodge ever established in the County 
of Racine. 

Racine Lodge, No. 8, was organized by David McDonald 
and a few others in the fall of 1845, and Avas regularly instituted 
under a charter dated April 30, 1846. In 1858 it surrendered its 
charter and records to the Grand Lodge, so that its early history 
cannot be oljtained. On July 1, 1859, a new^ charter was granted 
to the lodge, giving it the original name and number, and it was 
reorganized with thirteen charter members and the following 
officers: Alexander Griswold, noble grand; William H. Jenks, 
vice-grand; George Foster, secretary; David McDonald, treas- 
urer. Under the new charter the lodge x>i"<»spered and in a few^ 
years owned property at 417-421 Wisconsin Street valued at 
$5,000. The present Odd Fellows' Hall occupies the same site, 
where the lodge meets on Tuesday evening of each week. The 
officers at the begimiiug of 1916 were: James Larson, noble 
grand; Louis Steele, vice-grand; Chris Pach, recording secretary; 
L. A. Williams, financial secretary; Andrew Ruger, treasurer. 

The next Odd Fellows' lodge to be organized in the county 
was at Rochester. In April, 1849, Jesse Stetson and a few other 
citizens of Rochester held meetings in the school house to de- 
noiniee secret orders in general and the Odd Fellows in partic- 
ular. Now, it so happened that there were a small number of 
Odd Fellows living in the vicinity, among Avhom were C. J. True 


and Ilciiry Cady. The action of Mr. Stetson and his associates 
brouuht a vigorous protest from the Odd Fellows, and on July 
18, 1849, a lodge of about sixty members was formed. Hihmd 
Hurlburt was the first noble grand; Wallace Ilurlburt, vice- 
grand, and Doctor Boyee, secretary. 

(iermania Lodge, No. 70, was organized on fluly 15, 1853, 
and was composed exclusively of Germans. Joseph l^ackner 
was the first noble grand; Ferdinand Ehnlinger, vice-grand; 
Simon Wile, secretary; Christopher Wustum, treasurer. In 
1803, owing to the fact that so many members had enlisted in 
the army, Germania was consolidated with Racine Lodge, No. 8. 
On January 19, 1872, a new charter was obtained and Germania 
was reorganized and eight years later had nearly two thousand 
dollars' worth of property. It continued for some years longer, 
when it finally disbanded, the members uniting with the other 
lodges in the city. 

^[cDonald Lodge, No. 137, in the City of Racine, was organ- 
ized mider a charter dated December 27, 1867, with the following 
officers: L. W. Botsford, noble grand; Frank J. Gibson, vice- 
grand; M. P. Barry, recording secretary; S. P. Gilbert, financial 
secretary; C. B. Ticknor, treasurer. This lodge has had a steady 
and substantial growth from the beginning and now holds meet- 
ings regularly in Winters' Hall, at 412-416 West Sixth Street, 
on Thursday evening of each week. The officers at the begin- 
iiing of the year 1916 were: Oscar Petersen, noble grand; Clyde 
B. Willeson, vice-grand; Charles Cook, recording secretary; J. J. 
Wiertz, financial secretary; Arthur Johnson, treasurer. 

Star Encampment, No. 4, Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, was organized in the fall of 1855 and received a charter 
dated January 18, 1856. The records of the encampment have 
been twice destroyed by fire, hence the early history cannot be 
learned. The encampment now meets on the second and fourth 
Friday evenings of each month in the Odd Fellows' Hall. At 
the opening of the year 1916 Ole II. Anderson was chief patri- 
arch; F. A. Botsford, high priest; R. W. Llansen, senior warden; 
O. C. Nielsen, junior warden; George A. Hartman, scribe; I. 
Buresh, treasurer. 


Connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is 
a ladies' degree called the Daughters of Rebekah, the members 


of whicli arc generally spoken of as "Rebekahs." The fix'st 
lodge of this degree in Racine County was organized in connec- 
tion with (icrniania Lodge on December 3, 1874, under the name 
of Thusnelda Lodge, No. :?9. When (iermania Lodge was finally 
dis))anded, the members of this Rebekah lodge found a home in 
the Lily of the West Lodge, No. 33, which now meets on the first 
and third Wednesday evenings of each iiioutli in the Odd Fel- 
lows' Hall on Wisconsin Street. The officers of this lodge at the 
commencement of 191(! were: Mrs. Cassie Ketchingman, noble 
grand; Mrs. U. Hansen, vice-grand; Mrs. Kate Jones, recording 
secretary; Mrs. 13. Bnrcsh. financial secretary; ]\Irs. Jennie 
CamjJx'll, treasurei-. 

Success Rebekah Lodge, No. 216, meets on the first and third 
Wednesday evenings of each month in Winters' Hall, on AVest 
Sixth Street, the meeting place of McDonald Lodge. This lodge 
was organized on Feln-uary 29, 1912, with i\Ii"s. Margaret Pierce, 
noble grand; Mrs. Margaret McNanghton, vice-grand; Mrs. Mary 
Chambers, recording secretary; Mrs. Helen Peterson, financial 
secretary; Mrs. Nellie Winto-s. treasurer, and eighty charter 
members. At the begiiming of 191() the pi-inci})al officers were: 
Clara Koch, noble grand; Mamie Myers, vice-grand; Margaret 
Pierce, secretary; Nellie Winters, treasure!'. 


On Februai-y bl. bS(i4, five uiemhers of the Arion (ilee Club 
of Washington, I). ('., met and listened to the recital of a ritual 
of a new secret order. They were Justus H. Rathbone, Dr. Sulli- 
van Kimball, Robert A. Champion, AVilliani II. and David \j. 
Burnett. The ritual, which is founded upon the story of the 
friendship of Damon and Pythias, was Avritten by Mr. Rathbone, 
who is regai'dcd as the founder of the ordei'. Four days after 
these five men adopted the ritual and decided upon the name 
"Knights of Pythias," Washington Lodge, No. L was organized. 
The Civil War was then in i)rogress and for the first few years 
the growth of the order was slow. About 1869 a number of new 
lodges were formed and within a few years from that time Pyth- 
ianism spread to all parts of the Union. 

Since the organization of the order several new features 
have been added. The lodge reiiresents the fraternal; the Uni- 
form Ivank, the military; the Endowment Rank, the protective, 


and the Dramatic Order. Kni,t>-hts (if Khorassan, the social side 
of life. There is alsd a ladies' auxiliary known as the Pythian 

The only Knights of Pythias Iodide in Kaeine County is 
Racine Lodge, No. 32, whicli lias over five hundred members. 
The lodge has recently iiurdiased the old Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association Building, on the northeast corner of Sixth 
Street and College Avenue, which is being remodeled for a 
Castle Hall, when the Knights of Pythias will remove from their 
old quarters in the Baker Block to a home of their own. The 
officers of the lodge for 191() were as follows: George A. Gary, 
chancellor commander: Cuy A. Benson, vice-commander; H. F. 
Kdmunds. keeper of the records and seal; Joseph J. Patrick, 
niastei' of finance; George N. Fratt, master of the exchequer. 

In 1878 the Uniform Rank was formed. Racine Company, 
No. 1. meets on the second and foiu'th Wednesdays of each month. 
Of this comjjany F. L. Wright Avas captain in the spring of 191G; 
T. .1. Pryce, first lieutenant: F. W. Kever, second lieutenant. 
W. 11. Armstrcmg, of Racine, is colonel of the First Wisconsin 
Ivcginient, Fniform Rank, which meets on call, and J. G. Eager 
is adjutant. In the Spanish- American War the Uniform Rank 
furnished to the Government over eight thousand enlisted men, 
700 captains, 44 majors, 28 colonels, and 4 brigadier-generals. 

The Endowment Rank is not an integral part of the order 
and it is optional with the members whether they carry insur- 
ance in it or not. It has about one hundred million dollars of 
insurance in force and pays out about one and a half millions 
annually in death (daims. Joseph Schroeder was president of 
the Racine Endowment Rank in 1916, and John G. Eager was 
secretary. Annual meetings are held in December. 

Aden Temple, No. 159, Knights of Khorassan, was organ- 
ized on December 2, 1911, with 100 charter members. It now 
numbers over five hundred, who hail from about fifty cities of 
the state. 

Belle City Temple, No. 29, Pythian Sisters, holds meetings 
on the first and third Friday evenings in each month. The offi- 
cers at the beginning of 1916 Avere: Mrs. Cornelia Foster, 
M. E. C; Mrs. Alma Nelson, E. S.; Mrs. Ella Hanson, E. J.; 
Mrs. Charlotte Bartell, M. of R. and S.; Miss Mamie Hyde, 
M. of F. 



The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the out- 
growth of a el 111) of "good fellows," which was organized in the 
Citj^ of New York in 1868. At first the meetings were informal, 
the time being passed in singing songs, "swapj^ing yarns," etc., 
but after a little while a permanent club was formed under the 
name of the "Jolly Corks." The principal ami was to have a 
good time and the meetings were more of a social than a busi- 
ness character. Some months later, when it was proposed to 
found a secret order, the name "Jolly Corks" was objected to 
as not being sufficiently dignified. A committee was therefore 
appointed to select and report a new name. The committee 
happened to visit Barmnn's Museimi, where they saw an elk and 
learned something of that animal's habits. They then suggested 
the name of "Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks," which 
was adopted. The initials B. P. O. E. are sometimes iuterjjreted 
as meaning "Best People on Earth." The motto of the Elks is: 
"The faults of our In'ethren we write upon the sands;. their vir- 
tues upon the talilets of love and memory." In 1915 there were 
over twelve himdrecl lodges in the United States. 

Racine Lodge, No. 252, was organized on Januar}' 6, 1893, 
with E. C. Dean as the first exalted ruler. Meetings were at 
first held in the Knights of Pythias Hall. In 1912 the spacious 
and magnificent (-hil) house on the lake shore at the foot of Sixth 
Street was erected. It is one of the best appointed in the coun- 
try and presents all the features of the finest club houses of the 
larger cities. B. E. Nelson was the exalted ruler in the early 
part of 1916, and J. S. Adrion was secretary. The lodge now 
numbers considerably over five hmidred meml)ers, and has a 
strong marching club that attends Elks' conventions and never 
fails to attract its share of attention. 


This order was founded at Decatur, Illinois, April (i, 1866, 
by Dr. B. P. Stephenson and W. J. Rutledge, who had served 
as surgeon and chaplain of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry 
during the Civil War. Its membership is composed of the sol- 
diers, sailors and marines who fought on the side of the Union. 
The objects are 'To maintain and strengthen the fraternal feel- 
ings which l)iiid together the soldiers, sailors and marines who 



united to suppress the Ee1)e]li()n; to perpetuate the men k try and 
history of those who have died; to lend assistance to the needy 
and to their widows and orphans, and to eolleet and preserve 
relics and docmnents relating to the war of 18(>l-65." Each state 
constitutes a de})artnient and the local organizations are called 
posts. The order reached its highest membership about 1890, 
when there were about half a million Grand Army men in the 
United States. In 1915 the number was about one hundred and 
seventy thousand, the death rate l)eing about twelve thousand 
a year. National encampments are held annually and Wisconsin 
has furnished two national commanders — Lucius Fairchild in 
1886 and Augustus (i. Weissert in 1892. 

The Department of Wisconsin was organized on June 7, 
1866, and shortly after that a post was formed in Racine, with 
Henry Wright as commander, but it Avas of short duration and 
none of its records can be found. Governor Harvey Post, No. 17, 
was organized on January 24, 1881, with nine charter members 
and L. C. Porter as connnander; R. M. Boyd, senior vice-com- 
mander; George E. Smith, junior vice-commander; P. Marshall, 
quartermaster; R. Augustine, officer of the guard; E. B. Sage, 
surgeon; A. W. Smith, officer of the day; J. C. Huggins, chaplain. 
This post is still in existence and meets on the second and fourth 
Tuesday afternoons of each month in Casino Hall, on the corner 
of Fifth Street and College Avenue. The officers for 1916 were: 
Jacob Sneeberger, commander; Newton Pelch, senior vice-com- 
mander; Lute Place, junior vice-commander; Joseph Cooper, 
adjutant. Robert B. Lang and Hiram J. Smith of this post were 
honored by being elected department commanders of Wisconsin. 

Luther Crane Post, No. 201, located at Burlington, was or- 
ganized on August 6, 1885, with thirty-four charter members, 
and on January 26, 1886, George B. Lincoln Post, No. 215, was 
organized at LTnion Grove, with a charter membership of twenty. 
The three posts — Governor Harvey, Luther Crane and George 
B. Lincoln — are the only ones ever organized in Racine County. 
The posts at Burlington and Union Grove have been so weak- 
ened, as the old "Boys in Blue" answer the last roll call, that 
meetings are no longer held regularly, though the surviving 
members meet on Decoration Day to place wreaths upon the 
graves of their fallen comrades, or upon call, when occasion 



Diiiiun the <'ivil \\';ii' sdidicrs' aid societies were organized 
ill almost every town and village of the Union. They raised 
funds and distrilmted hospital and sanitary supplies among the 
vai'ioiis coniniands. At the close of the war those societies were 
dis])anded, l)ut after the (irand Army of the Republic was placed 
upon a firm footing, many of the patriotic women of the nation 
saw that their services were again needed and in several states 
1li(- aid societies were revived as auxiliaries to the (irand Army. 
Ohio and ^Massachusetts were the first states to form permanent 
organizations. In Ohio they Avere called Post Ladies' Aid Socie- 
ties, and in Massachusetts the Women's Relief Corps. A^T^ien 
the national encanipincnt was held at Denver, Colorado, in .luly. 
3883, Paul Van der V^oort, then national cominander, extended 
an invitation to all these societies to attend the meeting and 
form a national s(»ciety. Delegates came from almost every, 
state and the Women's Relief Corps was organized. 

In Racine County the Governor Harvey Relief Corps, No. 
29, was organized on Octolier 8, 1885, as the auxiliary to (iov- 
crnor Harvey Post. Twenty-four charter members were en- 
rolled. Mrs. Eleanor Jones was the first president; Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Gary, senior vice-president; Mrs. Ennna Bones, junior vice- 
president; Miss Ollie Eadus, secretary; Mrs. Emma IVIarsh, treas- 
urer; Miss Ida JMarsh, conductor; Mrs. j\Iary Anderson, cha])- 
lain. Meetings ai'c held on the second and fourth Tuesday aft- 
ernoons of each month in the post hall. In June, 191G, the offi- 
cers were: Mildred Heiberling, president; Aima Snyder, senior 
vice-president; Laura Crane, junior vice-president; Hattie Cov- 
ert, seeretar^y and treasurer. At one time this corjis numbered 
over seventy-five members. 

Luther Crane Women's Relief Corps, No. 62, was organized 
at Burlington on December 5, 1893, with twenty-six charter 
members; Myra Sp<ior. president; Augusta Holmes, senior vice- 
president; Hattie Zininiennan, junior vice-president; Frances 
Goodwin, secretary; Julia Mills, treasurer; Lillian Jones, con- 
ductor; Margaret Wilson, chaplain. 

George B. Lincoln Women's Relit'f Corps, No. 99, the aux- 
iliary to George B. Lincoln Post, at Union Grove, was organized 
on Mai-<-li 17, 1897, with a charter membership of thirty. 



111 18(57 the patriotic wdiiicii u\' Poi'tlaiid. Maine. < ruaiiizcd 
a society called the Loyal Ladies' League. Subse(iueiitl> the 
name was clian<;-ed to the Ladies of the (iraiid Anii\- of the 
lic])ublie. Its purpose is similar to tliat of the ^\'oiiicn's K'clicf 
Corps. The lirst state department ori>aiiized was that of \e\v 
Jersey, in 188L The Dcpartnieiit of Wisconsin was organized 
in 1893, ))ut no circle was organized at Kacine until March G, 
1!)15. On the evening of that day, Robert T. Pugh Circle. Ladies 
of the Grand Army, was organized at (luild Hall with eighteen 
charter menibers. Mi's. Fl(Ji'a Suiitli was the lirst president; 
Mrs. Robert E. Miller, senioi' \ice-pi'esident; Aliss (leraldiiie 
Pugh, junioi' vice-president: .Miss Lillian Du Four, treasui'er. 
and Ina Kingsley i)u Four, chaplain. 


In 1907 the Daughters of the Grand Army was organized 
and the national headquarters located at Detroit, ^lichigau. 
Local societies are called fortresses. Lincoln Fortress, No. 2, 
De])artnient of Wisconsin, was organized at Hacine on January 
5, 1910, with thirty-six charter members and Mrs. Laura M. 
Buck as the tirst commander. The object of the society is "to 
transmit the honor that belongs to Union veterans of the Civil 
AVar to their families; to preserve with sacred fidelity the mem- 
ory' of the noble deeds and sacrifices of those who fought for the 
preservation of the nation in the great war of 1861-65; to unite 
with loyalty and love for each other; to practice the precepts of 
true fraternity toward all sisters of the order, thus emulating 
the spirit which unites onr fathers, husbands, sons and broth- 
ers; to honor the memory of those fallen, and to perpetuate and 
keep forever sacred Memorial Day." 

The 8ons of Veterans is similar in character and purijose to 
the Daughters of the (irand Army. The membership is com- 
]»osed (J' sons of honorably discharged Union soldiers. Local 
organizations are called camps. Charles Filer Camp, No. 31, at 
Racine, was organized on October 20, 1896, with thirty-two char- 
ter members; J. F. Mills, captain; R. E. Browne, first lieutenant; 
George Snyder, second lieutenant; L. H. Fisher, chaplain. 

At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1883, a society of women 
was organized as an auxiliary to the Sons of Veterans and was 


officially reorganized and recognized hy that order in 1884. The 
first national encampment was held at Aki"on, Ohio, in 1887. 
Charles Filer Auxiliary was organized on May 9, 1899, with 
twenty-fdiii" charter nienibcrs and is now in a flom'ishing con- 

William A. Bancroft Camp, No. 16, United Spanish War 
Veterans, was organized on June 6, 1905, Avith fifty-two charter 
members, which number has been increased to about seventy. 
Charles F. Cramer, a native of Racine, Avas elected national com- 
mander in 1915, though he was then a resident of Cleveland, 
Ohio. In connection with Bancroft Camp is Bancroft Auxiliary, 
composed of the wives and other near female relatives of the 
veterans. It was organized on December 16, 1905, with forty- 
one charter members; Edith Olson, president; Daisy Sugden, 
senior vice-president; Fannie Casterton, junior vice-president; 
Nellie M. Olson, secretary. 

The Daughters of the American Revolution marks its begin- 
ning from October, 1890, and Washington, D. C, as its birth- 
place. One of the founders was Miss Eugenia Washington, a 
great grand-niece of Gen. George Washington. The objects of 
the society are: To perpetuate the memory and gallant deeds 
of the men who fought for and achieved the independence of the 
United States; to mark by moninnents or tablets historical sites; 
to encourage historical research in matters pertaining to the 
Revolution; to collect and preserve relics, docmnents, etc.; to 
promote patriotism by encouraging the celebration by proper 
ceremonies of all national anniversaries, and to carry out the 
injunction of Washington in his farewell address 'to promote 
institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge'." 

On June 8, 1891, the society was incorporated by act of 
Congress for the District of Columbia, Avith INlrs. Caroline Scott 
Harrison, wife of Benjamin Harrison, then President of the 
United States, as the first i)resident-general, or national 
dent of the organization. Within a few years the organization 
spread to nearly every state in the Union, and as only those hav- 
ing Revolutionary ancestors are eligible to membership, to be 
a Daughter of the American ReA'olution is considered a mark 
of lioijor. In 1915 Wisconsin reported twenty-eight chai)ters. 
Th(^ chapter at Racine Avas organized on Februarj^ 22, 1899, and 
now Ii;is about fiftv members. 



The Catholic Knights, a f'ratciiial insurance society that ad- 
mits men and women on the same footing, was founded in 1877 
at the suggestion of Bishop Feehan, of the Nashville (Tennessee) 
Diocese. The Catholic Knights of Wisconsin was organized at 
Green Bay on January 21, 1885. Local lodges are called branches. 
of which there are four in Racine and one in Burlington. Since 
the order was established in the state about five million dollars 
have been paid out in death benefits. 

The Knights of C(»luiiil)us originated in the City of New 
Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, to assist sick or disal^led members, 
pay death benefits, etc. Racine Council, No. 697, was organized 
on August 3, 1902, Avith fifty-six charter members, and has always 
been active in the charity work of the city. Meetings are held on 
the first and third Wednesday evenings of each month. There is 
also a council in Burlington. 

The Catholic Order of Foresters was fomided on May 24, 
1883, "to promote friendship, unity and true Christian charity 
among its members." Local organizations are called courts. In 
Racine there are five courts, viz.: Salzmann, No. 140; St. Cecilia, 
No. 162; St. Rose, No. 195; St. Mary's, No. 211, and St. Francis, 
No. 427. Burrington has a court with a strong membershi]). The 
order originated in Illinois and was at first confined to that state, 
but has since spread to all parts of the Union. Since it was first 
established it has paid out alxiut twenty millions of dollars in sick 
benefits and to the widows and orphans of deceased members. 


In working-men's parlance, Racine is known as a "union 
town." The various occupations are well represented, the em- 
ployees in the numerous manufacturing establishments and other 
lines of business being organized into unions, which are nearly all 
connected with some national or international association. A list 
of the Racine trades unions includes the bakers and confectioners, 
barbers, bartenders, boot and shoe workers, brewery workers, 
building laborers and hodcarriers, building trades council, car- 
penters and joiners, carriage, wagon and automobile workers, 
chauffeurs, cigarmakers, electrical workers, journeymen tailors, 
lathers, longshoremen, machinists, metal polishers, molders, mo- 
tion picture machine operators, musicians, painters and decora- 


toi's, jiattcni niakfi's, plumbers, printing pressman, sheet metal 
woi'kei-s. staji'o em])l()yeos, trades and labor council, the typo- 

uraiiliical uiiinii and the united garment workers. 


One of tlu' luaiu reasons why the business men of Racine 
liavr l)een successful is that they have learned to "])ull together" 
for the connncm good of all. As early as 1858 the city had a Board 
of Trade, which included practically all the leading merchants 
and manufacturers, as well as a number of prt)fessional men. The 
city directory of that year gives the location of the board as "the 
coiner of Main and Third Streets," with Elisha Raymond as 
president; S. C. Tuckerman, vice-president; John R. Rowdey, sec- 
retary; Salmon F. Heath, treasurer. The board of directors was 
(■oni])()sed of Gilbert Knapp, S. W. Spafard, J. W. Moore, H. P. 
Wliitheck, A. C. Sandford, George C. Northrop, James Tomlinson, 
Nelson Pendleton, A. G. Hartshorn, S. F. Heath, Isaac Taylor, 
Jolni Dickson, Eldad Smith. S. C. Tuckerman and J. A. Carswell. 
All these men have passed from the stage of action, but the 
])recedent they estal)lishcd has been followed by other organiza- 
tions, culminating in the Racine Commercial Club of the present. 

The Connnercial Club was first discussed by the members of 
the "Six O'clock Club" in June, 1912, and on November 14, 1912, 
the club was formally organized with 417 members. The first 
officers were as follows: F. Lee Norton, president; W. F. Mc- 
Caughey, first vice-president; Peter T. Stoffel, second vice-presi- 
dent; A. J. Horlick, treasurer. For the first four months the club 
occupied quai'ters in the Schulte Building. It then removed to 
the rooms foi-merly occupied by the Elks on the second floor of 
the Connnercial and Savings Bank Building, on the northeast 
coi'nei' of Fifth and Main Streets. The new^ quarters were opened 
on the last day of April, 1913. 

In the meantime, on March 8, 1913, the directors employed 
\\'alter H. Reed, of Schenectady, New^ York, as secretary. Mr. 
Reed had served as secretai-y of the Schenectady Board of Trade 
and hioiight with him to IvaciiU' an experience that has proved a 
valuahh; asset to the <'onnnercial Club. He still holds the office 
and is in charge of the (dul)'s work, as outlined l\y a board of 
fifteen directoi-s, which includes the leading business and profes- 
sional men of the eitv. The officers of the club for 1910 were: 



Walter C. Palmer, president; George N. Fratt, first vice-presi- 
dent; M. E. Walker, second vi('e-i)r('sid('nt: Walter II. Reed, sec- 
retary; A. J. llurlick, treasurer, in October, liJ15, the club made 
a special campaign and took in over three hundred new members, 
increasing the membershi}) to 757. 

From the beginning of its career tlic cliil> has been active in 
promoting the material interests of the city. During the week 
beginning on June 9, 1913, it held a "Made in Kacine" exhibi- 
tion, which was visited by 65,000 people. The exhil)it was a reve- 
lation to many of the citizens of Racine — people who had lived 
there for years, yet had no idea of the magnitude and variety of 
the city's manufacturing industries. Another exhibition of the 
same character was conducted for a week (June 7 to 12) in 1915 
and was attended by thousands of people, some of them from a 
distance. The club holds "get together" meetings and dinners, 
for the purpose of developing a greater fraternity among the 
business men, so that all will work in harmony for the betterment 
of the city. The gocjcl roads movement lias received the club's 
support in a substantial way, $12,000 having been raised to aid in 
the construction of six miles of concrete highway, and through its 
influence mile posts have been established upon all the principal 
roads leading to Racine. ^Mien the proposition to issue bonds for 
the erection of an armt)ry came before the people of the city, the 
Conmiercial Club worked for the cause, and through its influence 
the Home ft)r Feeble-Minded was established at Union Grove. 
It has helped to bring new industries to Racme; promoted the 
first municipal Christmas tree; encoui-aged school and garden 
contests; gave $200 in prizes for the greatest amount of vegeta- 
bles raised upon a given area of ground; maintains a traffic de- 
partment that works for the reduction of freight rates; has always 
supported measures for the improvement of the harl)or; and, in 
fact, has been influential in im^jroving industrial conditions in 
many ways. 


The Racine Young ^Men's Christian Association was organ- 
ized on August 9, 1875, with fifty members and the following 
officers: W. T. Lewis, president; C A. Weed, vice-president; "W. 
T. Bull, corresponding secretary; Robert Howard, recording sec- 
retary; J. S. Hart, treasurer. Meetings were at first held in the 


hall occupied by the Temple of Honor, and hi the first four years 
increased the number of members to about one himdred. In 
188() the association purchased a plat of ground 100 feet square 
on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and College Avenue and 
erected thereon a substantial brick building three stories high, 
with basement luidcn- the entire structure. The association used 
the ])asement for shower baths and a sw'inuning pool; the main 
floor was divided into store-rooms which were rented to mer- 
chants; on the second floor were the offices, club-rooms, gymna- 
sium and reading-room, and the class-rooms and a few bed-rooms 
were on the third floor. 

In June, 1914, the association, then numbering over five 
hundred members, began a campaign for a new building. The 
campaign was conducted under the direction of Louis C. Brad- 
shaw and in less than two weeks the sum of $175,000 (including 
the equity in the old building) was raised. Ground for the new 
building on the southeast corner of Fourth and Wisconsin 
Streets was broken by Judge E. B. Belden in March, 1915, the 
corner-stone was laid on June 26, 1915, and in June, 1916, the 
new home Avas occupied by the association. The building was 
designed by Guilbert & Funston, and the building committee 
that superintended its construction was composed of C. C. Git- 
tings (chairman), F. A. Morey, George IST. Fratt, John Wiechers, 
J. F. Bickel and E. B. Belden. The lot upon Avhich the building 
stands is 120 by 175 feet and the building is 112 by 130 feet, 
leaving an athletic field 45 by 120 feet. In the basement is a 
cafeteria, a locker room for members, shower baths, a tile lined 
swimming pool 20 by 60 feet, four modern bowling alleys and 
two handball courts, besides the boiler room. On the main floor, 
to which there are two entrances — one on Wisconsin and one 
on Fourth Street — are a large lobby, reading room, a billiard 
and pool room large enough for four tables, a gymnasium 55 by 
75 feet, general offices of the association, a room for chess and 
checkers, and a small banquet room. The second floor are the 
class rooms, directors' offices, a large banquet hall, and the 
assembly room. The third and fourth floors are chiefly occupied 
by bed-rooms. The association now has about eight hundred 
mem})ers. The old building on the corner of College Avenue and 
Sixth Street was sold to the Knights of Pythias in April, 1916. 



This association was organized in 1893 and its first home 
was in a small room in the Young Men's Christian Association 
Building on College Avenue. Three years later it moved into 
larger quarters on Wisconsin Street, whoro it remained for about 
two years, when the membership had increased to over two 
hundred and a larger home became necessary. The association 
then moved to No. 408 Main Street and the first gymnasium class 
^vas organiz(Hl. In 1905 the first trained secretary was employed 
and the association was incorporated. That same year a new 
location was leased in the Elliott Building and a physical direc- 
tt)r was employed. The membership passed the five hundred 
mark in 1907 and the next year a domestic science department 
was inaugurated. A lunch room was opened in 1910. In 1911 the 
association underwent a thorough reorganization, the member- 
ship having drop])ed to 341. With the new board of directors 
and the introduction of several new features the association 
began a healthy growth and in 1914 numbered 1,000 members, 
an event that was celebrated with a]>proiiriate observances. In 
1912 the present quarters at No. 424 South Main Street w'ere 
occupied for the fii'st tune, and in February, 1916, the association 
celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of the first 
Young Women's Christian Association by a "Jubilee Pageant" 
at Dania Hall. The association owns a lot at the intersectif>n of 
Fifth Street and Lake Avenue and is living in hopes that it will 
soon be able to erect thereon a suitable l)uilding for a permanent 
home. The officers of the association for 1916 were: ]Mrs. W. 
F. McCaughey, president; Mrs. E. E. Cahoon, first vice-presi- 
dent; Mrs. W. W. Storms, second vice-president; Mrs. Jacob 
Lund, secretary; Miss Edith Schultz, treasurer. The active work 
of the association is under the management of Miss Faith Par- 
melee, general secretary; ]VIiss Margaret White Winslow, exten- 
sion secretary; ]\Iiss Amy K. Garner, physical director, and Miss 
Lydia Boernke, office assistant. In January, 1916, the associa- 
tion began the publication of a little monthly periodical called 
"The Association News," edited and C(jnducted by committees 
of the members. 


In addition to the various organizations above mentioned 
there are in the county a number of fraternal societies, the prin- 


cipal feature of which is the payment of benefits in case of sick- 
ness and a certain sum to the family of each deceased member. 
It would l)e impossible to describe each of these societies in de- 
tail in a single chapter, though the good work they have done 
and arc doing forms a part of the history of Racine County. 

Kacine Council, No. 220, Royal Arcanum, was organized on 
December 19, 1878, with forty cliarter members and (ieorge W. 
Scanlon as the first regent. It now has over six hundred mem- 
bers. Connected with the council is Racine Court, No. 27, Royal 
Ladies, which Avas organized on June 19, 1908, and now has 
about one hundred members. 

Racine Tent, No. 43, Knights of the Maccabees, was organ- 
ized on December 5, 1893, with Frank G. Ticknor as the first 
commander. Regular meetings are held in the Odd Fellows' 
Hall on the second and fourth Thursday evenings of each month. 
Clover Hive, No. 29, Ladies of the Maccabees, the ladies' auxil- 
iary of the tent, meets at the same place on the second and fourth 
Wednesday evenings of each month. 

Racine Aerie, No. 281, Fraternal Order of Eagles, holds its 
regular meetings in Eagles' Hall, No. 309 South Main Street, 
every Wednesday evening. At the beginning of the year 1916 
W. H. Armstrong was president, and Joseph C. Hamata, secre- 
tary. The ladies' auxiliary meets in the same hall on Tuesday 
evening of each Aveek; Mrs. Marie Schweitzer, president; Mrs. 
Laura Dick, secretary. 

Lakeside Camp, No. 379, jNlodern Woodmen of America, was 
organized on July 13, 1887, Avith fifty-four charter members and 
now numbers nearly six hundred. About one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars have been paid to the families of deceased 
members of this camp since its organization. Connected with 
it is Hawthorne Camp, No. 1884, Royal Neighbors, Avhicli is the 
ladies' auxiliary of the order. It was organized in November, 
1899, and now has nearly two hundred members. 

Belle City Camp, No. 39, Woodmen of the World, was in- 
stituted in July, 1898, with a charter membership of twenty. 
D. O. Hibbard Avas the first consul commander. It now has 
about three hundred members and holds meetings in Winters' 
Hall on the second and fourth Monday evenings of each month. 
Jasmine drove. No. 9, of the Woodman Circle (the ladies' de- 
gree) Avas organized in 1899 and noAv has a large membership. 


Court Belle City, Ko. 1450, Independent Order of Foresters, 
was formed in Decenilx'r, 191:}, by the consolidation of three 
courts previoush' orj-anized. Andrew J. Nelson, of this court, 
was elected high chief ranger lor the State of Wisconsin in 1914. 
Companion Court Eva, No. 278, composed of the wives and 
daughters of the Foresters, was organized on December 29, 1899. 

Racine Lodge, No. 437, Loyal Order of JNIoose, was organized 
on January 26, 1911, with fifty charter members. Its growth 
has been rapid and it is now on(> of the strong fraternal societies 
of the county. Regular meetings are held on the first and third 
Thursdays of each month in the hall in the Baker Block on Main 
Street. In 1916 John G. Eager was dictator and J. A. Ferguson 
was secretary. The ladies' auxiliary meets at the same place 
on the first and third Wednesday evenings of each month. 

The manufacturing concerns and jobbing houses of Racine 
employ a lunnber of traveling salesmen. In 1906 fifteen of these 
salesmen met and organized Racine Council, No. 337, of the 
United Conunercial Travelers. James E. Bush was the first 
senior coimselor; E. E. Scott, junior counselor; W. H. Gebhardt, 
secretary and treasurer; I. L. Easson, Thomas Addison, W. E. 
Bain and J. F. Johnson, executive committee. The j^rincipal 
feature of this order is the payment of indemnity in case of ac- 
cident, the benefits ranging from $25.00 per week to $10,000. 
Meetings are held in Winters' Hall on the first and third Satur- 
day evenings of each month. The officers for 1916 were: J. O. 
Kennedy, senior counselor; W. H. Gebhardt, secretary and 

Isaac Taylor Lodge, No. 236, Sons of St. George, meets on 
the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month. This order 
is composed of men of English birth or descent. It was founded 
at Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1870. 

Lodges of the Mystic Workers, the Royal League, the 
Equitable Fraternal Union, the Beavers Reserve Fund Frater- 
nity and the Jewish Order of B'nai Brith have been organized 
in the City of Racine, and some of the orders in the foregoing 
list have lodges at Burlington or in the principal villages of the 

The Ancient Order of Hibernians had its boginnmg in a 
society organized in the days of Cromwell to keep alive the 
Catholic faith in Ireland. After the fall of Cromwell and the 


repeal of the penal laws, the organization has been kept alive 
for tlic pui-pose of fostering- Irish nationalism and aiding the 
Irish jK'oijle. The first organization in America was established 
in New York City about 1836. Since then it has spread over 
the United States and Canada, wherever there are people of 
Irish extraction. Racine Division was organized in 1879 and 
has included in its membership practically all the leading Irisb- 
mr-Ti of the city. During the thirty-six years of its existence it 
has paid out several thousand dollars in charital)le work. In 
this it has been aided by the Ladies' Auxiliary, which was 
organized on February 9, 1897, with ninety-two charter mem- 


The Racine Woman's Club was organized on March 13, 
1896, with thirty-one charter members and now numbers about 
three liuiidred and fifty. On April 16. 1896, it joined the gen- 
eral federation and on the 21st of ()ctol)er following it l)ecame a 
member of the state federation of women's clubs. On April 13, 
1904, it joined the American Civic Association. The first presi- 
dent of the club was Mrs. J. G. MeMurphy. From the begin- 
ning, the club has been active in assisting every movement for 
the Ix'tterment of Racine. It established a reading room for 
young people, which was the forerunner of the public lilirary; 
inaugurated a "cleaning up day"; gave $1,000 to the park board 
in 1905 to aid in the establishment of the public park system; and 
has acquired the reputation of accomplishing whatever it starts 
out to do. The officers of the clul) for 1916 were: Mrs. D. H. 
Flett, president; Mi's. (i. F. McNitt, first vice-president; Mrs. 
William Van Arsdale, second vice-president; Mrs. James Gil- 
son, recording secretary; JNlrs. (i. W. Scott, corresj^onding sec- 
retary; Mrs. Frank J. Miller, treasurer. The meetings of the 
club are held in the Buffliam Block, on Main Street. 

The Twentieth Century Clul), another organization of wom- 
en that belongs to the federation of Avomen's clubs, is similar 
in character to the Woman's Club, and like it has been instru- 
mental in promoting the general welfare of the city along moral, 
social and civic lines. Meetings are held at the homes of the 
niendiers on the second Monday afternoon of each month. The 
officers of the club for 1916 were as follows: Mrs. J. O. Owen, 



president; jNFrs. E. K. Ilerrick, record itii; secretary; Mrs. TT. E. 
Breckeiirid,ti,(', c(»rrcs]M)ndiiin- se<'retar\ ; Mrs. J. Keimedy, treas- 

The oidy other federated diih of wdiiicii in tlic city of Racine 
is the Tuesday Reading Circle, wliich, as its name indicates, 
holds its meetings at the homes of the mendjcrs on Tuesday 
afternoons. It is devoted largely to literary work, studying the 
best authors, etc. 

On :March 28, 19()(), tlie Florence Nightiiigale Society was 
organized by Mesdames C. Jorgensen, P. Ostergaard, A. Beck, 
I. Jacol)son. C. Nelson, ]\Irs. Johanson, and JMisses Carrie Johan- 
son and Margaret Jorgensen. The constitution at that time 
adopted declares the object of the society to be "the mainte- 
nance of a free bed or beds, room or rooms at the hospital known 
as the St. Luke's and Alice Horlick Memorial Hospital, for 
charity patients, and to raise funds for that purpose and such 
other charities as the association may determine." 

The society now numbers about two hundred and fifty mem- 
bers and is active in the charity work of Racine and the vicinity. 
The otBicers for 1916 were: Miss Mae Burgess, president; Mrs. 
F. C. C.otf. vice-president; Mrs. T. W. Fuller, recording secre- 
tary; ]\Irs. S. L. Phippen, corresponding secretary; ^irs. Paul 
Ostergaard, treasurer. 

The Racine Country Club, the largest and most important 
social club in the comity, owns a handsome club house and 
grounds noi'thwest of the city, and among its members are a 
large nund)er of the men and women prominent in Racine's 
social life. The grounds are equipped with golf links, tennis 
courts, etc., and the Country Club is the scene of frequent card 
parties, golf parties, social dances, dinners and all the other 
fimctions that belong to such an organization. The officers of 
the clul) for 1916 were: A. A. Oilbert, president; H. F. John- 
son, vice-president; A. J. Lunt, secretary and treasurer. 

The Dania Society, composed of men of Danish birth or 
extraction, meets on Tuesday evening of each week in Dania 
Hall, on State Street. Andrew Dahlstrom was president of this 
society in 1916; Nels Christiansen, vice-president; Einar Strand, 
secretary; Charles A\'. Johnson, treasurer. The Danish Ladies' 
Society meets in the same hall on Wednesday evenings. The 
nfficei-s of this so<-iety for 1916 were: Mrs. Volga Engelbreth, 


president; Mrs. Paul Ostergaard, vice-president; Mrs. Fred An- 
derson, secretary; Mrs. S. Sorenson, treasurer. Another Danish 
organization is the Danish Brotherhood, which owns a neat hall 
and clubhouse on Sixth Street and Grand Avenue. 

Among the minor clubs may be mentioned the American 
Study Club, which meets the third Thursday evening of each 
month in the offices of the American Seating Company; the 
Kacine Yacht Club; the North Side Social Club; the Monarch, 
Maskokee and Somerset clubs; several German and Bohemian 
clubs, and a number of women's clubs connected with church 
work, such as the Catholic T.adies, the Jewish Ladies, etc. 


















In the winter of th(> year 1840, at the request of Charh's S. 
Wriyht, Jason Lothrop, the pastor of the Southport (Kenosha) 
Baptist Church, visited Raeine and began to hold a series of 
meetings in a vacant room in one of the Main Street stores. The 
success of these gatherings encouraged them to attempt the 
formation of a regular Baptist society in Racine. Accordingly, 
on April 11th, a meeting was held for this purpose, and eleven 
men and women organized themselves into a conference, and 
having adopted the Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant 
of the New Hampshire Baptist Convention, letters were sent 
to the Baptist Churches in Southport, JMilwaukee. Burlington 
and Prairieville, inviting them to be present on the 25th of the 
same month and, if they thought best, to recognize them as a 
Baptist Church. On the day appointed the coimcil convened 
and the following persons were organized and recognized as a 
church under the name of the First Baptist Church of Racine: 
Charles S. Wright, ]\Iary Wright, Lydia Wright, Lucy W. Fay, 
Elijah Fay, Martha Fay, Benjamin Ames, Charles W. Sawyer, 
Abram D. Eveland, Lorin Webber, Sally Webber, Semantha 
HarnKjn. Shortly after the organization of the church, the fol- 
lowing were received: Levi Blake, Caroline Morehouse, Charles 
Bunce, Eveline Fay, Polly Blake, Elbridge E. Fay, Moses Vilas, 
Charles H. Blake, Albert Knowlton, Winslow E. Fay, Warren 
BrcAvster, Sarah Milligan, Lorenzo Janes, making the entire 
number of members twenty-eight. The services of Rev. Jason 
Liithrop were then secured for half of the time, the other half 
being spent in Southport. He continued this arrangement until 

In the early part of 1844 the church purchased the property 
upon which they erected a house of worship. Previous to this 
Rev. S. Carr had become the pastor. In February, 1845, Rev- 


ereud Carr resigned from his position and in the same year was 
succeeded by Rev. Silas Tiu-ker. The f'hi;rch numbered at this 
time ninety-five members. Uiu-ing the winter of 1845-6 the 
church held a series of revival meetings, which resulted in a 
substantial imicase in the membership. Until this time the 
congregation had worshijjped in the building used as an academy 
and a pai't of the time in the courthouse, but in 1846, having 
completed the basement of their house of worship, they com- 
menced holding regular services therein. In 1848 the walls of 
a second edifice were erected, the building constructed, a steeple 
put up and supplied with a bell weighing 1,600 pomids. In 
June, 1848, Reverend Tucker resigned his charge and for sixteen 
months the pulpit was supplied in greater part by Rev. M. B. 
Tremaiii. In 1849 Rev. William Rollinson came. In 1850 the 
house of worship was completed and was dedicated on July 2d 
of the same year. In 1852 Rev. J. W. Fish came to the pulpit, 
and then came Rev. O. O. Stearns in 1854-7. Following Stearns 
canic Revs. H. K. Stimson, Howard Jones, William Rollinson, 
N. F. Ravlin, Joseph IJo\\lc\-. II. L. House, W. B. Cullis, David 
Spencer, Henry Clarke. 

On JNIay 1, 1862, the church building was destroyed by fire. 
The h(tuse was innnediately rel)uilt, the lower part being used 
for stores, the u])per ])(»rtion serving as the meeting place. The 
cornerstone of the new church structure was laid on Thanks- 
giving Day, November 30, 1876. The Sunday School i-ooni was 
occupied for services in December, 1877, and the house, com- 
pleted, Avas dedicated in June, 1878. The property was valued 
at $30,000.00. In 1900 the church building at the corner of 
Sixth and Main Streets was razed, to make room for the brick 
])uildiiig now occujued by the Kradwell Drug Tompany. 

The Scandinavian Baptist Church was organized April 5, 
1877, with the following officers: J. Hanson, P. Peterson and 
J. C. Nelson, trustees; Thomas P. Christenson, treasurer; J. C. 
Nelson, clerk. The following twenty-nine members were the 
constituent members: P. Peterson, Mrs. Peters(m, N. Christo- 
])herson, Adoli>h .Icnson. Amiie E. Knudsen, J. Christopherson, 
M. Anderson, Tliomas P. Christens<in, Mrs. II. Christenson, 
Martin Christenson, Mrs. M. Christenson, J. IIans(m, Mrs. K. 
Hanson, K. Hanson, Carrie Hanson, Tiawrence F. A. Hanson, 
li. Olson, Mrs. H. Olson, H. Johnson, Mrs. S. Johnson, A. C. 


Johnson, Miss T. Juluison. R. Cliristianson, Mrs. G. Christian- 
son, Dorthea Pdiils^n, Lottie Poulson, J. C. Nelson, Mi-s. M. 
Nelson. The liduse of worshi]) was erected and ready for use 
by June 3, 1878, and eost the sum of $2,700.(10. On Api-il 21, 
1879, the name of the church was changed to that of the State 
Street Baptist Church. 

The First Scandinavian Ba])tist Church was organized on 
May ol, 18()4, with live members only, namely: P. II. Uam, K. 
Nielsen. Karen Marie Petersen, Thomas P. Christianson and 
Anna Karn. P. H. Dam was the first pastor of this small so- 
ciety. Their first church building was completed in September, 
1867, and was dedicated in November of the same year. The 
Fii'st Scandinavian Church is now located at the address of 
1326 State Street and is in charge of Rev. M. C. Jensen. The 
membership, while not extremely large, is comprised of active 
and strong Baptists. 

The Gennan Close Union Baptist Church was organized 
December 5, 1854. Rev. John Eschmann was its tirst minister 
and the following were the original members: Rudolj^h Haab 
and wife, Franz Hubachek and wife, Mr. Ordemann and wife, 
Herman Mitsch and wife, Babetta Egli, Katherina Egli, Caspar 
Egli and Julia Amann. The first house of worship Avas erected 
in the summer of 185(i on Villa Street, between Eighth and 
Ninth Streets. In 1878 a new brick church building was con- 
structed on Huron Street, and dedicated Septendjer 8th of that 

The Colored Union Baptist Church was organized Mai-ch 
22, 1857, at a meeting held at the house of Charles Ware. The 
first members were: Charles Ware, Lewis Price, William ^NIc- 
Gee, Sarah Ware, Louisa Price and Ailsey Thomas. They 
bought the frame school house at the corner of Main and Tenth 
Streets and moved it to Campbell Street, between Eleventh and 
Twelfth, which they used as a house of worship. The lot was 
donated by Charles Ware. 

The Burlington Baj^tist Cliuidi was organized in 1843 with 
about fifteen persons, and Rev. AV. R. Manning as pastor. The 
services were held in the old schoolliouse until 1851, when the 
Free Church was built. That was erected by a coalition with 
the Presbyterians and Methodists, and meetings were held 


.iltciiiatcly, Itiit ill 1S()1 the Baptist Society ])ui'('hased it. Tt 
was a stone hiiildini; and cost .$1,700.00. 

The Danish 1 baptist Church at Union Grove was built in 
Decenil)er, 1S72, thirty people at that time belonging to the 
cliiii-ih. Ivc\". Olc -laiiseii t(»ok charge. 


The work aiuonn tlie ( atliolic people (if the district now 
iiichided in St. Mary's Pai'isii lie^an in the yeai' 1838, and for 
fiiur years thereafter they were visited l)y mission priests, in- 
cludint;- Rev. Thomas Morrissy, who first visited Hacine in 1838, 
at which tinu' there was no Catholic Church in the county. 
Following the arrival of Rev. Martin Kundig in 1842 the Cath- 
olics began the erection of a little frame church on Fifth Street, 
on the present site (»f the Times-Call Building and the telegrajili 
bureau. This church was completed in 1843 and dedicated in 
May of that year by Father Kundig, with the permission of the 
Bishop of Detroit, and over the church Father Kundig presided 
foi' a peinod of three years. To this church came the Catholics 
(»f all Southei-n Wisconsin, so that at the end of two and a half 
years the Racine church proved too small and Mr. Reardon, a 
member of the congregation, donated two building sites at the 
southwest corner of Eighth Street and Lake Avenue for the 
erection of a larger structure. The old church was removed to 
this site in the spring of 1845 and was reuKideled and enlarged 
to accommodate more than 300 persons. It served the entire 
Catholic ])opulation of the district vmtil 1852. It had been 
dedicated as St. Ignatius Church in the fall of 1845 and in 
Septembei', 1S4(). Rev. Franz Prendergast became the first resi- 
dent pastoi'. lie was unfamiliar with the (icrman tongue, and 
in -Iinie, bS47, was succeeded by Reverend Kundig, who was 
himself succeeded ill the following December by Reverend Fander, 
who cdiitiimed in charge until August 20, 1849. 

It then seemed advisable to separate the (ierman and English 
speaking members of the congregation and Archbishop Henni 
named a committee to select a site for a new church. They chose 
the present location of St. Mary's at the corner of I'^ighth and 
College A\'eiiiie. A good residence and practically a new ])usi- 
ness block occupied the property. The residence served as a 
parish house from 184!) and the other structure was remodeled 

OLD HkWT M. E. church IN RACINp: 


for school ])ni'pos('s. The sciiool-hoiiso was twenty l)y forty feet 
in dimensions and was first opened in 1850. Because of the 
poverty of the ])arishioners, the erection of the new church for 
the Germans was not uiidrrtakcn iiiilil 18r)2. In Aui>ust, 1849, 
Rev. Fander was succeech'd hy Rev. Carl Schraudenbacli, who 
served imtil the appointment of Rev. AV. Norris on Novend)er 15, 
the latter eontinuinn' to serve St. Ignatius C'hurcli until August, 

In January of tliat year Aichlnsliop Ilcnni named Rev. 
Simon Bartosch as pastor of St. Mary's, and in April of that 
year the erection of St. Mary's Church was begun, the comer 
stone being laid by Archbishoj) Hemii on June 27th. In August, 

1852, Rev. Martin Kundig was appointed priest of St. Ignatius 
and of St. Mary's and served l)oth congregations until Decem- 
ber 10, 1853. He completed the new church and in November, 

1853. was succec^ded l)y Rev. J. N. Peiffer, who served both 
congregations until January, 1854, when Reverend Kundig was 
again installed. In February of the same year Rev. Franz 
Fusseder was appointed pastor of the two congregations, and so 
continued until June, 1855, when Rev. Fabian Bermadinger be- 
came ])astor of St. Mary's (^hurch. He so continued until Sep- 
temljer. 1857, when he was succeeded l)y Rev. F. X. Sailer, 
whose pastorate continued until September, 1862. He Avas fol- 
lowed by Rev. Franz Ulilemayr. who continued until July, 1867, 
and mider his direction was erected a new school-house fifty by 
thirty feet and three stories in height. His successor, Rev. F. X. 
Etschmann, continued until April, 1870, and the Rev. J. A. 
Birkhauser until Septendiei- 8, 1873. The latter purchased two 
building lots at the corner of Eighth and "Wisconsin Streets in 
order to erect a new parish lu)use. On September 10, 1873, Rev. 
(Jeorge Strickner became pastor of St. .Mary's, and it was dur- 
ing his ])astorate, which extended luitil August 1, 1877, that St. 
.Iose])h's congregation was separated from St. Mary's. From 
the end of July until the beginning of September, 1877, Rev. 
.]. A. Birkhauser again served St. Mary's for Rev. Peter De- 
Berge, who had l)een named pastor in June of that year. The 
latter took charge in August and under his direction the pres- 
ent handsome j)arish house was erected in 1878. In December, 
1877, he celebrated his silver .jubilee, but in November, 1880, 
illness caused his resignation. Rev. William Engel, who was 


appointed, died soon at'tcrwai-d and was succeeded by Rev. 
Joseph M. Albers, under whose pastorate a new church building 
was erected, 135 by 60 feet, at a cost of $28,000.00. This was 
dedicated August 15, 1886. After sixteen years' faithful service 
'Reverend Albers resigned August 22, 1896, and the church was 
then supplied hy different priests until Rev. Theodore B. jNIeyer 
tfHik charge in November of that year, remaining as i^astor to 
the ju'esent time, covering a period of twenty years of faithfid 
service to his flock. 

St. Rose Catholic Church, of which Rev. .lolni M. Navightin 
is the pastor, was established October 6, 1885. The cornerstone 
of the church was laid at this tim(\ The sti-ucture was dedi- 
cated January 31, 1886. This was only regarded as a temjiorary 
Inulding, as the growth of the congregation soon demanded a 
larger chui-ch. The cornerstont' of the present edifice was laid 
May 24, 1903, and the dedication occurred February 14, 1904. 

The Holy Name Catholic Church was started in 1884, when 
a church building A\'as constructed on the corner of Fifteenth 
and Villa Streets. This building is now used by the Holy Name 
School. Til 1914 the large new church of this congregation was 
erected adjoining the old building. Rev. Ignatius A. Klein is 
the pastor of the Holy Name Church. 

The Sacred Heart Catholic Society, located opposite the 
HoiTick factories, was organized the first of the year 1916, and 
in August of the same year a handsome brick church was dedi- 
cated. The cost was $18,000.00. Rev. Peter Enrietto is the 
jiastor of this congregation. 

Mt. Carmel (Italian) Catholic (Tiurch is located at the 
northwest corner of Blake Avenue and Kewaunee, St. Casimir 
(Tjithuanian) Catholic Church is located at 815 Park Avenue 
and is in charge of Rev. Peter Vaitonis. This latter society pur- 
chased the Park Avenue Congregational Church in 1913 for 
$8,(100.01). The liolieniians worship at St. John's Nepomuk 
Church at 1917 Green, whicli pastorate is in charge of Rev. 
A. (i. Weiler. St. Joseph's Church is located at the corner of 
Erie and St. Patrick: Rev. W. J. Heder is the rector. St. Pat- 
rick's Catholic Church is another growing society in charge of 
l\ev. A\'illiaiii l'\ McCnrtliy. St. Stanislaus (I'dlisli). located 
at 17:57 Center, is under charge of Rev. B. P. Burant. 

he first church to be oruaiiized in the town of BniTinoton 



was the St. Mary's Roman Catholic. This occurred in the year 
1844 by some members of the clnircli who came from Detroit, 
Michigan. They were joined by K'everend Kundi.n, of Milwau- 
kee, and in the same year erected a small stone ])uildiii,^- whicli 
was also the first stone house put n]^ in Ijurlington. They used 
this as a chui-i-b until 1859. when a larger edifice, of stone, was 

The Catholic Church at Waterfoixl was established in 1850 
and within two years the mem])ership had grown to one hun- 
dred and fifty. A stone churcli was built then, costing about 
$2,()00.0n. Rev. Matthew (leriibauer was the first pi-iest bere. 


In the spring of the year 1850 Rev. Timothy M. Hopkins, 
then acting pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Racine, began 
a series of sermons in the old court-house, intending to (trganize 
a Congregational Church. The organization was effected in 
Februai'y, 1850. There were thirty-eight members, most of 
them with letters from the Presbyterian Church. The society 
named their church the First Congregational Church of Racine. 
The first pastor was Rev. Timothy M. Hopkins, and the first 
deacons were Henry Sheldon and I. G. Parker. On the 21st of 
the following May a further organization took place and the first 
trustees elected were A. P. Dickey, Philip Brethwait, T. P. 
Bruce, Mark Miller and Floyd P. Baker; I. (i. Parker was clerk. 
Wliile a house of worship was being constructed on the ground 
later occu])ied by the Episcopal Cliurch the members wor- 
shiped in the court-house and in the Ladies' Seminarv Build- 
ing. After the frame work of the new church was completed 
and the roof placed a storm destroyed it. The work went on, 
how^ever, and the finished structure was dedicated February 5, 
1851. Again the churcdi met Avith disaster on November 2, 1851, 
when flames leveled the church building to the gi'ound. By this 
time the society was in financial distress and was compelled to 
accept the gift of a clnu'ch lot from Mr. Sidn(>v A. Sage, and 
thereon began to build another house of worship. The corner- 
stone of this house w^as laid with befitting ceremonies on Octo- 
ber 9, 1852; the dedication occui'red on November 7, 1854. Great 
assistance w^as rendered to the society by friends and members 
of chiu'ches m other commiuiities. The church was redecorated 


in 1908. Some of the early pastors of this church were Revs. 
T. M. TIoi)kins, U. P. Kinne}^ Lewis E. Matson, Stephen P. 
Peet, T. E. Davis, (i. W. Sargent, Norman IMcLeod, T. P. Sawin 
and William II. Hinckley. Following these have been Revs. 
Clarendon A. Stone, David R. Anderson, Charles H. Percival, 
H. L. IJichardson, Julius Marks and J. T. Chynow^eth. 

Among the charter members of the First Congregational 
Church were the following named: D. C. Vantine, Almira 
A'aiitine, G. C. Flagg, Mary Flagg, Emily Stone, Nancy S. Hop- 
kins, Sarah E. Paul, Mary Hurd, A. P. Dickey, Sarah A. Dickey, 
I. 0. Parker, Lois E. Parker, Philip Brethwait, Ann Brethwait, 
L, P. Thayer, Isabel Thayer, N. D. Smith, J. E. Lockwood, 
Mrs. A. S. Lockwood, R. J. Munu, Louisa ^lunn, William Bruce, 
Sarah Bruce, F. P. Baker, Harriett Baker, Phelee Freeman, 
Henry Sheldon, Mrs. Henry Sheldon, S. K. Sheldon, William 
Smith. Mrs. William Smith," Mrs. M. Field, Mrs. N. A. Walker, 
Mrs. D. P. Putney, Mrs. David Hurlbut, INIrs. Fisher and Mrs. 
S. Comstock. 

The Plymouth Church, Congregational, otherwise the Park 
Avenue Congregational Church, was organized in 1904. The 
pastors of this church have been Revs. D. Ellis Evans, Albert 
J. Buxton and S. T. Kidder, the latter acting pastor diu-ing 
Reverend Buxton's leave of absence. On Sunday, June 8, 1913, 
the Plymouth Society dedicated their new house of worship, 
which is one of the most sightly and modern of Racine's 
churches. On July 30, 1913, the old church on Park Avenue was 
sold to St. Casimir's Catholic Congregation for $8,000.00. 

A Welsh Congregational ('hurch was organized in Racine 
in December, 1847, with fourteen members. A church building 
was erected on College Avenue. This church is inactive at 

The First Congregational (Ihurch of Union Grove was 
organized on September 8, 1844, by Rev. C. C. Cadwell, as mod- 
erator, at the schdol-house. L. C. Northway was appointed clerk. 
There were at first just twelve members. The first pastor who 
attended the clnu'ch was Rev. Lorain Rood. The meetings were 
h(;id alternately al the Salisbury and White School-houses. 

The first church to be organized at Waterford was the 
Congregational in 1851, Levi Barnes being the exhorter. A 
church building was constructed in 1857 on land donated to the 

Showing Episcopal and Universalist Churches 






society l)y S. ('. ('liai)iu;iii. Tlic tii'st I'cuiihir p.-istoi' <>[' this 
church was Kcv. K*. K*. Sikiw. wlio i-ciiiaiiicd I'ur a pciadd <il' ten 

The ('()ii,i;rei;ati()ual ('liiiii-h at Ivochester was ori^aiiized in 
1840 with about fifty niciiihers. ITntil 1845 they held their 
meetings in the old scliodl-hdiisc and then cdiisl riidcd a brick 
clnii-cli Iniilding. 


Tlie first 10pisc()[)al Society of Kaciiic, now St. laike's, held 
services as early as 1839. These were conducted by Reverend 
Hull <jf Milwaukee. In 1840 services were held every two weeks, 
Reverend Allison of Waukegan officiating. In 1841 Revs. 
Adams, Breck and llobart conducted the services and in 1842 
a regular parish, called St. Lidvc's, was organized, Rev. William 
Walch taking charge until Ainil 1, 1843. Rev. P. W. Hatch 
officiated a part of this time. In 1844 and 1845 Rev. Ebenezer 
Williams conducted the services and early in the latter year the 
first church Imilding was erected on the east side of the market 
square, which was used by the society until the fire of 1866, 
when, with the Titus Hall, Racine House and other buildings, it 
was destroyed. After the erection of the building the rectorship 
was filled by Revs. S. Marks, A. D. Cole, James De Pere, James 
Bowman, Josei)h H. Nichols, Roswell Park, A. D. Benedict, 
Edward C. Porter, Arthur Piper, Walter G. Blossom and Fred- 
erick S. Peufold. 

After the destruction of the church by fire in 1866, the 
society purchased lots on the corner of Main and Seventh 
Streets, and in July of the same year the corner-stone of a new 
building was laid. Bishop Kemper of Kenosha officiating. 

The other Episcopal societies in Racine are: Holy Inno- 
cents, Owen and Washington Avenues, Rev. Charles A. Cap- 
well; Immanuel, 1309 North Wisconsin, Rev. R. H. M. Baker; 
St. John's Collegiate (Racine College), Rev. W. P. Shero; St. 
Stephen's, Prospect and North Avestern Avenues, Rev. R. C. 


The First Church of the Kvangelical Association of North 
America in Racine was organized in 1845 by Rev. M. Hauert. 
The original members were as follows: John Niebergall, class 
leader; Barbara Niebergall, Henry Yung, J. C. Schmidt, Cather- 


ine Scliiiiidt, II. Hess, Mary Hess, P. Herzog, J. C. Hoffman. 
In 1847 the congregation constructed the first church, which 
was a small frame, in size 25 by 30 feet. In July, 1848, the 
church was dedicated. The membership at this time had grown 
to sixteen. In 1855 the building was enlarged by twenty feet. 
The second house of worshijt was erected by the society in 1870 
on the old ground on Chippewa, between Seventh and Eighth 
Streets, adding a half lot to the property. The church building 
is now numbered as 725 Park Avenue. 

The pastors who have served in the ])ulpit of this church 
are, in the order of their service: Revs. Matthew Hauert, An- 
dreas Nieolai, (leorge Blank, Christian Lintner, J. (t. Escher, 
Benjamin Epley, Christoph Ko})p, S. A. Tol)ias, (J. Fleischer, John 
Riegal, George A. Blank, Christoph Augenstein, Oswald Ragatz, 
Israel Kutei-, Henry Huelster, x\ugust Huelster, J. CI. Escher, 
Ernest Sehultz, Peter Massueger, P. Kurtz, J. M. Hammeter, 
F. W. Huelster, C. P. Zinnnermann, C. P. Pinger, J. P. Viel, 
J. L. Stroebel, M. WitteuAvyler, C. Schneider, C. P. Reiehert, 
H. Uphoff, C. Schneider, L. P. Emmert, II. E. Erffmeyer, P. W. 
Umbreit, W. G. Raddats and William C. Uebele. 

There is also the Chiesa Evangelical Italian Church in 
Racine, located at 1621 All)ert Street, and in charge of Rev. G. 


The Jewish Church is represented in Racine by a single 
society, organized in the '9()s. This is the Congregation Sons of 
Juda, under charge of Rabbi Max Aronin. The temple is located 
at 810 Superior Street. There are about fifty mendiers of this 


The First German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of 
Racine was organized in 1848 by Rev. John Weiumann, a native 
of Wurtemberg, who lost his life in the Ijurning of the steam- 
ship "Austi'ia" on September 13, 1858. For the period of one 
year the society worshiped in a district school-house until the 
latter part of the year 1859, when the first church edifice was 
dedicated. At that time the congregation numbered twenty 
families. The fii'st ti'ustees were: George Wustum, C. P. Bliss, 
Ernst Hueffner, Henry Anthes and Michael Schulz. The church 
belonged to the Wisconsin Svnod. This is the mother chiu'ch of 


all the German Protestant Churches in the City of Racdne, as 
all the rest of them came into existence by separation from this 
original church. The church is in [jrosperous condition, with a 
good membersliii). It is in charge of Rev. Theodore Volkert at 
the present time. 

The German Evangelical St. Paul's congregation began as 
a departing body from the First (ierman Evangelical Lutheran 
Church, having been organized in March, 1873. The cause of 
this separation dates back to the establishment of the latter 
church, the founders of which, in their native coimtry, belonged 
partly to the Evangelical and partly to the Lutheran Churches. 
About fifteen members became convinced that they should sep- 
arate from the church, Avhich they did. Among the number 
were the following: A. Kaltenschnee, C. Braeh, George Hergen, 
IMessrs. Reitenmeyer, Rr.. also Jr., F. Miller, Bliss, Lattich, 
Rapp and Baumann. The first religious services were held by 
the new congregation in the court-house. Reverend Lamprecht, of 
Chicago, officiating. After the church had formed a connection 
with the Evangelical Synod of North America, Rev. S. Weber 
was called as the first pastor. In 1874 a house of worship and a 
parsonage were l^uilt on a lot previously purchased, located on 
Liberty Street. 

The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of 
Racine was organized on August 22, 1851. There had been a 
considerable number of Li;therans settled in Racine from Nor- 
way and a number of them had been holding religious meetings 
previous to the organization. They soon desired a regular for- 
mation and accordingly a meeting was held at the house of John 
Larsen, which resulted in the organization. The following 
trustees were elected: John S. Bangs, John Larsen and An- 
drew Johnson. On Jamiary 15, 1852, a certificate of organiza- 
tion was filed. Rev. Ole Anderson, who was present at the 
above meeting, was selected as the first pastor of the society. 
In addition to the members already named, there were the fol- 
lowing in the first congregation: O. I. Halstad, Helge Simonsen, 
Endre M. Surly, Finkel Kiukelsen, Niels Olson, K. Knudsen 
Boude and K. A. Riugheim. Steps had already been taken at 
the organization meeting toward the erection of a church build- 
ing. A lot was purchased on State Street, where Fish Brothers' 
Wagon Works were afterward located. By 1853 a meeting 


house had been erected thereon and was being used by the 
society. In the spring of 18()7 the chiu'ch building was moved 
one block east, and in 1868 an addition was made to it at a cost 
of $l,2()n.()(). In 1871 Rev. Adam Dan, a native of Denmark, at 
the time a missionary to Palestine, Jerusalem, was called to 
this pastorate and in July of the same _vear he was ordained. 
After having served for about one year, several members of the 
congregation considered that he was preaching doctrines in op- 
position to the Lutheran Church and the Confession of the con- 
gregation. An accusation of false doctrine was made against 
him. He opposed this charge and a schism resulted. When the 
members siding with Reverend Dan claimed the right to the 
church pro2:»erty a lawsuit ensued. The case was decided De- 
cember 12, 1874, and the pastor was found guilty of preaching 
false doctrine, but the j^arty of the church in favor of him be- 
ing in the majority, the court gave them the property and the 
original name of the congregation. The defeated members, 
wishing to maintain the Christian and Lutheran doctrines of 
the founders of the congregation, organized themselves into a 
sei^arate society and formed a connection with the Conference of 
the Norwegian-Danish Clnu'ch of America in 1875. Numerous 
pastors of that society served the new congreation. On January 
13, 1877, the society was incorporated under the name of the 
Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Racine, 
Wisconsin, and on the 2oth of Marsh the new church edifice 
was dedicated. 

The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Enimaus Church of Ivacine 
was organized August 22, 1851, with twenty-four m(Mn))ers, 
mostly from Norway. Rev. O. Andrewson was the first ])astor. 
The church was built the same year and located on State Street, 
between LaSalle and Marquette. In 1855 the church was en- 
larged and a Sunday School organized. During the years 1860-3 
there came a division in the society and tlic church ])uilding was 
sold. For some time the congi-egation was without religious 
services of any kind. On August 10, 1863, thirteen members 
of the congregation united and repurchased the church for 
$525.00 and the society was reorganized as a part of the Nor- 
wegian Synod. The old house of worship was sold in 1876 and 
a new brick edifice erected on IN found Avenue, costing $9,000.00. 
Then followed, a short time hiter, the trouble over the pastor. 


Keverend Dan, which is narrated in a ])reeeding paragraph. Tlie 
(le})arting nionibers fVjrmed themselves into a new congregation 
after the court finding that Reverend Dan's adherents owned 
the church i)ropei'ty, and the latter continued under Dan's pas- 
torate. The new Emmaus Chni'cli was dedicated Jannni-v 27, 1(S78. 

The Evangelical l^utheran St. John's Congregation of the 
Unaltered Augsburg Confession was organized in Racine County 
on June 30, 1862, and was first served by Revs. Friedrich Loch- 
uer and Ferdinand Steinbacli. The first members of the con- 
gregation were: Thimotheus Moritz, August Baumann, George 
P. iNIohn, Andreas Reukauf, Peter Stoffel, Johann Kino, George 
Steel, George F. Sehulz, Johann (Jeorge Friedrich, Johann 
George Rueck, Caspar Reukauf, Johann Shoenleben, Carl 
Strauss, Jacol) Ilancrcr. Johann Dennis, Johann Stecher, Johann 
Herchenroeder, Joseph Ritter, Johann Foertseh and Traugott 
Flocter. Rev. W. P. Engelbert was the first pastor of this 
church. On Jul.v 28, 3862, the congregation coiududed to erect 
a school building, which they also used as a house of worship 
until November 18, 1866, when the new chiu'ch building was 
dedicated. Connected with the church was the Evangelical 
Lutheran St. John's School, which was started by the pastor. 
A. 0. Gertenbach was the first teacher, with forty scholars. The 
first school-house was superseded in 1877 by a two-story brick. 

The other Lutheran Churches of Racine are: The Bethesda 
(Norwegian), State and La Salle Streets; Church of the Atone- 
ment, Wright and Quincy; Enunaus (Danish), Mound Avenue 
and Madsen Court, Rev. C. H. Jensen; Lnmanuel (German), 
High and Superior, Rev. Oscar Samuel; Immanuel (Danish), 
Oak and Lafayette, Rev. Michael O. Block; Our Savior (Danish), 
1200 Racine, Rev. Julius N. Bing; Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, 
1330 ^Milwaukee Aveime, Rev. F. C. Eseinan; Zion (Norwegian), 
423 Randolph, Rev. O. L. Torvik. 

St. Peter's German Lutherau at Waterford was organized 
in 1860 with about forty members and in 1884 the society erected 
a large stone church, costing $2,000.00. The land upon which it 
stands was donated by Mr. Schentzenberg and in 1866 he made 
a claim to the church. The congregation brought suit against 
him and in the same year a judgment was rendered in favor of 
the church. The first minister to preach at this church was 
Rev. Enclebrecht. 



The first Methodist minister to arrive in Raeine was Samuel 
Pillsbury, who, in the fall of 1836, was sent to Root River ^lis- 
sion by the Illinois Annual Conference. After coming- here he 
lived on the east side of Main Street, near Seventh. However, 
prior to this time, there were Methodists here. The first four 
men to settle in Racine after Ciilbert Knapp located his claim in 
November, 1834, were Stephen Campbell, William See, Paul 
Kingston and Edmond Weed, all devout Methodists. They came 
January 2, 1835. Harrison Fay and Mr. Newton arrived about 
the same time and for several months these men were the only 
JNlethodists here. There were other regular ministers who 
preached here before the coming of Pillsbury, but the latter 
was known as the first appointed preacher to this charge. Mai-k 
Robinson and Mr. See preached here at intervals. Robinson 
hailed from Milwaukee. The first account of a camp-meeting in 
Racine or vicinity is in the Argus of August 15, 1838. Almost 
all of the early preachers were circuit riders, among them 1)eing 
Daniel Slauson. According to reliable authorities, the people 
composing the first class at Racine were: Paul Kingston and 
wife, William See and wife, A. Filer and wife, and Ste])licn Cmnp- 
bell and wife. 

It is supposed that the early Methodist Society here used a 
small log building, with benches, as a house of worship, but this 
knowledge has never been confirmed. Joseph Knapp constructed 
a house on the west side of Main Street, near Second, as a for- 
warding house. The Methodists rented this building in which 
to hold meetings. The houses of Jonathan ]\I. Snow and Paul 
Kingston were utilized previous to the erection of this build- 
ing. Later the meetings were held in the old schoolhouse and in 
1840, when the coTU't-house was finished, the meetings were trans- 
ferred there. The erection of the Pearl Street building was ac- 
complished in 1845; the building was of frame, many of the oak 
timl)ers having been hewn at the Rapids and sledded down the 
river. The land was conveyed by deed by Benjamin B. Jones 
and his wife, Nancy, under date of September 26, 1842, to Alan- 
son Filer, Daniel Slauson, William Bull, Edwin W. Smith and 
All)ert (i. Knight, in consideration of $75.00 in specie, lot 6 in 
block 24 of the original plat of Racine, in trust, that they should 


l)uil(l thereon a house of worship for the chni-ch society. The 
building was 36 by 52 feet in dimensions. 

i\t a nieetinu- of the l:>(iard i>\' Trustees, held P^'bi'uai'v 28, 
1870, it was resolved to sell ibc old cbincli pi'opei'ty and erect a 
new chui'ch. This was done on November 5, 1870. A lot on 
the corner of ]\Iain and Eighth Streets was purchased A])ril 1, 
1870, of George Q. Krskine for $3,000.00. Building operations 
were hegim and on June 25. 1870. the corner-stone was laid. The 
dedication occurred duly IG, 1871. The completed building cost 
a little less than $40,000.00. On February 5, 1882, fire destroyed 
the greater part of the church, but it was iunnediately rebuilt 
and rededicated February 4, 1883. The church building was 
torn down in July, 1913, to make wa_y for the present $60,000.00- 
structure, which was dedicated October 18, 1914. 

The pastors of the First Church have been, in the order of 
their service: Revs. Samuel Pillsbury, Otis F. Curtis, Salmon 
Stebbins, Leonard F. Moulthrop, Henry Whitehead, James 
Mitchell, Milton Bourne, G. L. S. Stuff, "jidius Field, Warner 
Oliver, Matthew Bennett, Abram Hanson, Alexander Pope Allen, 
Jonathan W. Putnam, C. C. jNIason, Wesson Gage Miller, Caleb 
1). Pillsbury, Philo S. Bennett, A. C. Manwell, J. C. Bobbins, 
Rufus H. Stinchfield. William H. Sampson, William Page Stowe, 
O. J. Cowles, J. W. Carhart, George Channing Haddock, A. P. 
Mead, F. S. Stein, Sanuiel Newell Griffith, Thomas Clithero, 
F. G. Updik(>, Plenry Faville, J). C. John, John E. Fanner, 
F])hraim L. Eaton, J. S. Lean, Henry P. Haylett, R. K. Manaton, 
AN'illiam Rollins, William Preston Leek, Thomas G. Cocks, and 
C. F. Spray. 

In the spring of 1909 the Methodists living in the southwest 
))art of town began an agitation for a church or Stniday School 
in that neighborhood. On March 3, 1911, they decided to con- 
struct a church of their own and organize an independent 
society. The (li-auge Avenue Chui'eli is the result of this move- 
ment. The clnmdi 1)uildiiig was dedicated Fel)ruary 4, 1912. 
The i)i-op(M'ty is valued at $13,000.00. 

In the early days there was a Welsh Methodist Church with 
a building located on the rear of the lot at 845 Villa Street, 
fronting on Ninth, between Park and Villa, at 514 Ninth Street. 
It was a small frame structure, 25 by 30 feet, and is now located 
at the northeast corner of Villa and Thirteenth Streets. Shortlv 


at'tei' tlic war. however, this church dwindled and in lH(i7 was 
joined with the Welsh Talvinistic Thni-ch. 

Tlie Union Methodist E])isco[)al Cliurch, or Second Clnn'cli, 
was the outgrowth of a Union Sunday School Association, which 
was beij,un and maintained liy niendx'rs of the Methodist and 
other Protestant churches of the city, at the corner of North 
Wisconsin and St. Patrick Streets, in a building which they pur- 
chased ?ilay ;]. 1858. The deed of conveyance of the ])ro])erty 
tells that for $3n().0n Albert (!. Knight and ^Martin Clancy, with 
tlii'ir wives, and Eliphalet Ci-nn. conveyed the property to the 
trustees of the Fourth Ward Union Sabbath School Association, 
namely: Moses Adams, Thomas B. Talcott, Aaron C. Lyon, 
John Bull, William H. Jenks and Thomas Driver. There was 
occasional preaching in this building and the Sunday School was 
maintained until the tire of the s])ring of 1881, when the Imild- 
ing was leveled to the ground. The Union ^Mission was then 
given in charge of the Methodist Episcopal ("hur«di. In 1881 
Rev. Thomas Sharpe was ai)pointed pastor and in the same year 
the new church building was ei'ected. In 1900 Union Chui'ch 
and Berryville were made one assignment. The following pas- 
tors have sei'ved: Revs. Thomas Sharpe, William C. Renter, 
E. .7. Symons, L. H. Nickel, A. R. (irant. Otto Anderson. Zim- 
mermann, E. D. Kohlsted, T. H. Downs, W. H. Leeter, E. Kaneen, 
Richard A. Levin and B. W. Kramer. 

The Scandinavian Methodist Church had its first local 
preacher. Rev. Samuel Anderson, in 1853. Prior to this time 
a society existed, but no record exists of its history. The regular 
organization occurred in 1853. By 1855 a house of worship had 
been completed sufficiently for the use of the society and l)y 1861 
i1 was finished. It was dedicated in the fall of the year. A 
■tl (),()()( ).U0 house of worship was constructed in 1904. 

The Colored Methodist E]>iscopal Church of Racine was or- 
ganized about 1869 by Rev. John Melone. 

The German Methodist Church of Burlington was organized 
in 1864 with ]\lr. and Mrs. Fred Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand 
Smith, Ml', and Mrs. Jacob Kellai', Mr. and Mrs. Fred Selke, and 
a few others. A small brick chni'cli was purchased fi'oui the 
English niembei's and used until 1874, when a large frame 
chui'ch was constinicted. The fiist jiastor was Rev. Ilei'uian 

Trinity English Lutheran 

German Lutheran Immanuel 

Immanuel iJajitist 

Park Avenue Evanj^elical 


German Lutheran 
St. Luke's Episcopal 


'^I'Ik' Methodist Cliiircli at riiioii (Ji'dvc was ov^aiiizcd pi'ini' 
t(i IHGl, the (late of tlic l)llil(lill^ of the cliiircli. l>cr()ix' tliis 
iiKH'tiiias had hccii held in tlic nld sclKioldidiisc. 'I'hc new chiu'cli 
wa,- siipplicd ])}■ (-ii'cuil ridci's, hiil in ISli:; K'cv. S. IjWj: caiiic to 
tlic pulpit. 

Tlic W'atcrfni'd Methodist I'^piscopal ('hiireli was organized 
ill 1S712 with about twenty iiieiiihers. Sei-\iees wei-e held in the 
( 'oiiureiiational ('iiun-li tor a few months, al'ter which a (dmreh 
was Imilt. It was of frainc and cost ^2, ;")()(). 00. The first ])astor 
was l>c\-ei'eiid Painter, a stiuh'iit IVoiu hlvanstoii, and lie was 
f<illowc(l hy Iicvcreiid Ilalsey. 

The (lennan Methodist Churcji of W'atcrford was ortj^aiiized 
in 1(S71, also witli twenty niembers. 

'ilie Y(ukville Methodist Episcopal Church was established 
in 1840 |»y a party from Cornwall, England, among them being 
the Shephards, Moyles, Skewes, Howes, Hays, Loeys, Lnggs and 
Foxwells. A church was built in 1842. A second church was 
constructed in bS.Ki and the present brick (diurch in 1014. Rev. 
^^'illianl iwillins was the first pastor. 


The First Presbyterian Church of Racine was organized on 
IV'bruary 13, 18:19, and consisted of twenty-one members, 
iininely: Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Cary, Mr. and ]\lrs. Elias S. 
< ;![u-oii. Mr. and Mrs. Heman Rice, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin (i. 
Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Wells, Julius Cotton, Nelson A. 
\Valk( r, doel Sage. Mrs. Sylvester Mygatt, Mrs. J. P. Hurlbut, 
Mrs, Cyrus Nichols, Mrs. Sophronia L. Wells, Miss Susanna 
Traber and ]Miss Sarah C. Hall. The house in vhich the organ- 
ization meeting was held was located on the west side of JNlain 
Street, between Second and Third; it was originally (U'signed 
for a store, but was used as a school-house. Rev. Cyrus Nichols, 
wh<; had Iteeii preaching here and in Kenosha since the fall of 
18?)(), moderated the meeting of organization and continued to 
preach in the church until Ajiril of the same year, when he was 
succeeded by Rev. N. Kingsbury. Aftei' the latter the rollowing 
past(n-s served the church society: Revs. C. C. Cadwell, Hiram 
Foote. T. M. Hopkins, Z. M. Hmnphrey, (ieorge M. S. P>lauvelt, 
Hawley, ,J. Ambrose Wight, C. J. Hutchins, Walter S. Alexan- 


der, Daniel E. Bieree, Eli ('<ir\viii, Charles S. Nickerson, George 
M. Colville, C. S. Nickersdii. 

Preaching was early held in the court-house and when tl'is 
grew too small the society met in the second story of the jail. 
In the fall of 1842 stei)s were taken towai'd the erection of a 
church building and the finished building was dedicated in Feb- 
ruary, 1843. The corner-stone of the second house of worship 
was laid May 6, 1851, and the building dedicated on June 10, 


The First Universalist Society in Racine was organized 
October 2, 1842. The meeting was held at the house of Lnnian 
Parmalee and the following were present: Amaziah Stebl)ins, 
Luman Parmalee, Ransom Cole, George Perkins, Reuben Chad- 
wick, Asa Palmer, Thomas J. Wisner, S. H. Norris, B. R. Per- 
kins, Jacob Ly Brand. 

With the assistance of 11. II. Watson regular services were 
held every Sunday in the frame school house until September 6, 
1846, when Rev. A. C. Barry of Fort Plain, New York, was 
installed as pastor. Up to January, 1847, sixty-nine members 
had signed the constitution. The original membershi]) of the 
society numbered twenty -four. The society continued to hold 
services in the court-house until 1851, when a clnu'ch building 
on Market Square was erected by them, and dedicated October 9, 
1852. Some of the other early pastors of this church were Revs. 
E. Case, D. L. Webster, B. Mason, R. (!. Hamilton, E. Fitzgerald, 
J. S. Fall, A. C. Fish, S. AV. Sutton, 11. M. Sinnuons, Olympia 
Brown Willis. Rev. A. C. Barry served several terms as pastor. 
Rev, John W. Carter is the present incumbent. 


Other cluirch societies in Racine ai'c: The Holland Chris- 
tian Reformed, at 1:529 Blake, Rev. P. W. DeJonge; Cnnnvh of 
God, 3320 Lindermann Avenue, Rev. Charles R. Miller; Penta- 
costal Church of the Nazarene, Washington and Hayes Avenues, 
Rev. Ernest J. Fleming. 






Ill the early sottleinciit <it' Racine ('(nmty. tlic iiioneers AV(>rc 
nearly all people of hardy ('011x1111111011, blessed with t^ood health 
and used to hard kiioeks. While all were poor, they were williiii;- 
to work, and those who needed assislanee usually received all 
that was necessary from their ueighhors. Consequently, it was 
several years before the question of carint;' for the unfortunate 
])oor became one for consideration by the county authorities. 
Then a home for the indii^ent was established in the Village of 
Racine, to which all the poor, resident or transient, were sent. 


This system continued until 1851, when the Board of Super- 
visors decided to establish a county poor farm. On September 
27, 1851, William Hunt and his wife conveyed to the County of 
Racine a tract of eighty acres in Section 7, Township ?>, IJange 
21, for that purpose. The land thus })urcliased by the county 
supervisors is situated in the Town of Yorkville, about three 
miles north of the Village of Union (J rove. Subsequently Ezra 
Burehard donated forty acres adjoining, giving the county a farm 
of 120 acres. For moi-e than three yeai's after the purchase of 
the farm the poor continued to be cared for in Racine. In Feb- 
ruary, 1854, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to 
erect suitalile buildings on the farm, but no appropriation for 
the pui-pose was made until the following November, when the 
sum of $7,500.00 was appropriated. The pooi' house was opened 
in January, 1855, for the rece])tion of [laupers. At the same time 
the county was divided into three districts, from each of wliicli 
a commissioner was appointed to look after the management of 
the institution. .lulius Wooster rei)resented the eastern district; 
C. K. McEachron, the middle, and N. R. Norton, the western. 
This system of caring for the ])ooi' continued until 1861, when 


tlic people in some of the towns objected, on the gronnd that they 
wei'e jjayinf;- mure than their just jjroportion of the cost of main- 
tenance. A special meeting (jf the Board of Supervisors was 
held til consich'i' the objections, and it was decided to adojit the 
town system of sup})orting the paupers, by which each town was 
to ])ay oidy for tlie support of its own. H. D. JMorse, C. J. Bryce 
and (leoi'ti'e Herrick were apiDointed poor conunissioners, with 
instructions to eniiiloy an overseer for the farm. This provision 
was Hoi carried out, liowever, until 18()3, when Thomas (jraham 
was appointed overseer. 

The buiklings erected in 1854 are still in use, and it can be 
easily imagined that they are somewhat "behind the times." 
Ill A])ril, 191(), Walter Petersen, chairman of tlie Board of Su- 
per\-isors; Edward ^lahnie, of Waterford; Rol)ert Mutter and 
I. (). Mann, of Racine, all members of the board, were appointed 
a conunittee to visit the county asylums for the insane and the 
])oor houses at Madison, Elkhorn, Janesville and Waukesha. 
After making tliei]' visit, they reported that the Racine asylum 
for the insane was sujjerior in completeness and efficieiu\v to any 
of those visited, but "there was not a single poor house in as 
bad condition as that of Racine County — that is, from the stand- 
point of buildings." 

C'oncei-ning the repoi-t one of the Racine newspai^ers said 
editorially: "The conunittee appears to be imanimous in tin- 
opinion that the two institutions should be united. There was 
some talk about the poor house buildings being remodeled, but 
when the State Board of Control made the statement that the 
liuildiugs would be condemned, this idea was dropj)ed. Addi- 
tional land lias heeii bought in connection with the Racine 
County Asylum aiul at the next meeting of the Comity Board 
no doubt favorable action will lie taken for the erection of new 
buildings and the removal of the poor farm, thus connecting the 
two institutions." 

Owing to some ojjposition that developed, the "favorable 
action" pi-edicicd by the editor did not materialize at the next 
meeting of the iJojiid of Supei'visors. But there is no question 
tiiat the sentiment in favoi' of the removal of the ])oor farm to the 
insane asylum grounds is growing, and it is (»nly a question of 
time when the arram^cmeiit will he carried out. 



As early as 1855 the Poor Coimnissioiiers r('i)orte(l lluit thci'c 
were two insane persons in the poor house and asked the IJoai'd 
of Supervisors to erect a separate building for their accoiniiioda- 
tion. The board appropriated $600 for a building for insane in- 
mates of the poor house, but it was several years before an}' 
movement was inaugurated for the establishment of an asylum 
to be used for the eare and treatment of the insane of tlic county. 

In 1882 a proposition to ereet such an asylum eame before 
tlie Board of Supervisors, several of whom were in favor of 
proceeding at once to erect a building. Nothing was done, how- 
ever, until about six years later. On November 26, 1888, the 
board voted to issue bonds to the amount of $40,000, in denomi- 
nation of $500 each, payable at the rate of $5,000 annually, and 
bearing interest at the rate of 5 per cent. The proceeds of the 
sale of such bonds were to be used to erect an asylum for the 
insane. A suitable tract of land near Gatliff, in the Town of 
Mount Pleasant, was ]iurcliased and the work of erecting the 
buildings was pushed forward with such energy that the insti- 
tution was opened on December 18, 1889, with three patients. 
The first Board of Trustees was composed of L. C Klein, John 
T. Kice and N. Lytic. In May, 1890, the number of patients had 
increased to fifty-four. 

On the night of February 19, 1904, the asylum was com- 
pletely destroyed by fire. There were then 133 patients in the 
institution and some of them were rescued with great difficulty. 
But through tlie heroic efforts of Sui^erintcndents Oversen and 
Harden and their wives, all were saved. It was a cold night and 
some of the inmates, after they were brought from the liurning 
building, tried to get back to their warm ])eds. Others wandered 
away during the excitement, and still others danced with glee 
as they watched the flames consiune the only liome they had 
known for months. The morning of the 20th saw the insane asy- 
lum a heap of smoldering ruins. The Free Will Baptist Ohurch 
at Mygatt's (Corners, near the asylum, was opened to the trus- 
tees and a nmnber of the inmates were quartered in the church 
mitil more permanent arrangements for their care could be 
made. Farmers in the neighborhood took several of the milder 
cases into their homes. Before the close of the day following 
the fire all were accounted for and comfortably housed. 


The origin of the fire is not certain. It was the I'ule of the 
institution that the patients retire at eight o 'chick in the even- 
ing. A]K)ut half an hour after all had retired, Albert Terhuno, 
one of the patients, came rushing into the dining-room and noti- 
fied Supt. Frank E. Oversen that there was a fire in the attic. 
All the fire-fighting apparatus possessed by the institution was 
at once brought into requisition and the employees did all they 
could to save the building from destruction. Seeing their efforts 
futile, they turned their attention to saving the contents of the 
office and such rooms as they could reach without danger. The 
records and much of the furniture were thus saved. Doctor 
Oversen gave it as his opinion that the cause of the fire was a 
defective hot air pipe from the furnace and stated positively 
that none of the patients were permitted to have matches in the 
attic, or anywhere else about the building. 

Inunediately after the fire the Board of Supervisors took 
steps to rebuild.' On April 18, 1904, the firm of Chandler & Park, 
architects, were connnissioned to prepare plans and specifica- 
tions, and on May 2d bids were advertised for, pro])osals to be 
received mitil the lOth of .Tuly. On July 13, 1904, the contract 
for the new building was awarded t(t Hanson & Lester, of Chip- 
pewa Falls, Wisconsin, for $81,841.77. The cost of the old asy- 
hun — the one destroyed by fir(^ — was $58,841.86. so it can be 
seen that the boai'd, in rclmilding the asylum. a<-tc(l u]ii;u the 
theory that it was better to build for the futui'c as well as the 

On Xovciiihcr '_'9, 1904, the board authorized the issue of 
.$1(10,0(1(1 ,>\' asylum bonds, payable at the rate of $(),r)Ol) annually 
and lieai'iiig interest at the i"ite of 4 per cent ])er annum. The 
last of these bonds fall due in 1928. Hanson & Lester hastened 
the completion of the building as rapidly as it was possilile to do. 
and in the new asylum K'acine County has one of the best institu- 
tions of that class in the state. 


111 1911 the Wisconsin Legislatni'e ])asse(l an act authorizing 
County l)o;ii'ds of Sujiei-visors to purchase sites and erect hospi- 
tals or sanatoriums for tlie cai'c of persons afflicted with tuber- 
culosis. It was also provided that all sites should be approved 
by the State lioai-d of (^tntrol before buildings were erect(>d 


thereon. Under tliis act the IJuaid cf Supervisors ])ureliased 
twenty acres of ground in tlie Town of Mdutit Pleasant, about a 
mile southeast of the County Insane Asyhuii, whidi site was 
approved by the state board, and made an ap|n-(ti)riation for the 
establishment of an institution to be known as the "Sunny Rest 
Sanatorium." The building, which cost about thiily thousand 
dollars, was opened for the reception of patients in August, 1913. 
Originally, accouunodations were provided for twenty-four pa- 
tients, but by uiclosing some of the porches additional room was 
obtained, and in July, 1916, there were thirty-six patients in the 

Upon the opening of the institution a board of three trustees 
was appointed, and the same board was in charge on August 1, 
1916. George X. Fratt is president; John B. Simmons, secretary, 
and the third member of the board is S. M. Reinardy, of Bur- 
lington. Dr. Jolui H. Hogan is the physician in charge, and Mrs. 
Elizabeth Carpenter is the matron. The establishment of the 
Sunny Rest Sanatorium is another evidence that the people of 
Racine County are fully alive to the requirements of modern 
civilization in caring for unfortunates. The equipment of the 
Rest is of the most approved character and the treatment of 
patients is along lines suggested by the most eminent specialists, 
who have made a special study of the "Oreat "White Plague." 


Although this is a state institution, it is located within the 
limits of Racine County, and is therefore entitled to recogni- 
tion among the county's charitable institutions. In 1912 the 
State Board of Control, in a \isit to the Home for Feeble-Blinded 
at Chippewa Falls, observed that the institution was veiy nuu-h 
crowded and recommended the establishment of an additional 
home. The Legislature of 1913 acted up>on the ])oard's recom- 
mendation and made an approjiriation for the purchase; of a site 
and the erection of suitable buildings. 

Immediately after the passage of the act, some of Racine's 
active business and professional men set themselves to work to 
secure the location of the new home in the county. Three of the 
five members of the State Board of Control visited the site 
selected by the Racine men, which selection was indorsed by the 
Racine Commercial Club, and expressed themselves favorably. 



riic result was tliat ")(!,') aci'cs in Section 25, Township 3, Range 
20, were purchased hy tlie state as a h)cation for the home. This 
tract lies in the suutheastern part of Dover Township, about a 
iiiih' and a half Avest of Union Grove and directly north of the 
('iiica^o, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Thi'ough the influence 
of the citizens of Racine, the railroad company agreed to build 
a switch ]-unning into the grounds, a fact that no doul)t had 
some influence upon the state l)oard in the selection of a location. 
The appropriation of 19i:> was not immediately available 
and some time elapsed before the work of building was com- 
menced. On August 1, 1916, a feAV of the ])uildings were com- 
])leted and work was being pushed forward on the others with 
a view of having the institution ready for inmates by January 1, 
1916. The site is one of the most desirable in the county, if not 
in the state, the tract of land lying upon the ridge that separates 
the waters of the Root and Fox Rivers, with a I'olling surface 
and the very best of drainage. 


Tn 1871, Rev. E. ( '. Porter, Rev. James De Koven, Dr. John 
(i. Alearham and a few others co-operated in renting a small 
house and o])ening a hospital. The first patient was received on 
Christmas Day, 1871. At first, the hospital was supplied with 
but two beds, but soon after it was opened two others were added. 
During the first year twenty-one patients were treated. On 
Ai)ril 15, 1872, the founders incorporated under the laws of the 
state and the institution took the name of St. Luke's Hospital, 
Tor the reason that most, if not all, the incorporators were mem- 
bei-s of St. Luke's Episcojtal Church. The beds, bed-clothing and 
furnitui'c wei'e given by the women of Racine and Racine College. 

The success of the hospital during the first year of its exist- 
ence awakened considerable interest and on Christmas Eve, in 
1872, a meeting was held in St. Luke's Church to consider ways 
and means of making it a permanent institutiim. Speeches were 
made by Charles E. Dyer, Doctor De Koven and others, but it 
was not until the lollowing JNIay that anything definite was accom- 
})lished. 'i'lien A. (1. llai-tshorn and a few others tui'ued over to 
the hospital -fSOO, with one yeai-'s interest, a part of the fund 
i-iised the preceding autumn for the I'elief of sufferers from the 
great Chicago fire. A liltle later the German School Society 




added $350 to thi' hospital fuiKl. Other cniit lilnit inns, ihiic n'\ 
them very large, came in tVom time to time and a coiiiuiittcc was 
appointed to examine building sites, with a virw df pnrcliasiiiL;, 
and report as to the best loeatioii for a hospital building. 

Thus matters stood at the beginning of the year 1875. On 
January 17th of that year another meeting was licid in St. Luke's 
Church at which the following conunittee was a[)pointed to 
s(dicit siibscriptions to a l)uilding fund: l\ev. K. ('. Pm-tei'. 
Simeon "Whiteley, Frank Schneider, 11. T. Fuller, T. (i. Fish, 
William M. Kay and W. T. Lewis. In April, 1875, Rev. E. C. 
Porter and wife offered to donate two lots on the coa'ner of Thir- 
teenth Street and College Avenue for a hospital site on two 
conditions: First, that within five years a ])uilding to cost not 
less than five thousand dollars should be erected on the premises; 
second, that said binlding, when completed, should be used ex- 
clusively for hospital purposes for five consecutive years. About 
this time George H. Clarke, an architect of Chicago, sul)mitted 
plans for a hospital building, with a capacity of forty beds, the 
estimated cost of which was $12,000. After modifying the plans 
to reduce the eost, a campaign was started to raise the money 
necessary for the erection of the building. The amount I'aised 
was not sufficient to binld according to the i)lans submitted hy 
^Ir. Clarke, and W. H. Amos, of Racine College, came forward 
with a new plan for a building to cost not more than $5,500. 
His plans were adopted and the corner-stone was laid (Hi Sep»- 
tember 21, 1876, by Rev. Arthur Piper. The cost of the building 
when it was finished was $5,500.49, only forty-nine cents more 
than the original estimate. It was opened in February, 1877, 
with eleven beds. 

During the first fifteen years of the hosi^ital's career, nearh' 
all the i^atients treated were charity cases, so that the expense 
of the institution had to be met by contributions. The Ladies' 
Guild Society of Racine College and Mrs. E. C. Porter each 
contributed $250 per year for several years. 

In 1891 the hospital was leased to the Danish Hospital Asso- 
ciation, which remained in control for about fifteen years, when 
the institution ])assed back to the original management. During 
the time the Danish Hospital Association was in charge, William 
Horlick built the addition known as the Alice Horlick JNFemorial 
Hospital, at a cost of about ten thousand dnllars. Also, during 


this time, tile Floi'ciice Nightingale Society of charitable wonieB 
was organized for the juiipose of "maintaining a free bed or 
beds at the hospital known as the St. Luke's and Alice Horlick 
Memorial Hospital, for charity patients." The fund contrilnited 
by the Florence Nightingale Society was used for the establish- 
ment of the department known as the "Maternity Home." 

When tile old organization resumed control of the hospital, 
it assumed the liabilities of the Danish Hospital Association, 
which were all discharged in course of time, and the hospital is 
now in a more prosjjerous condition than at any time in its his- 
tory. A training school for nurses has been established, with a 
three years' course, an addition to the Maternity Home was 
made in the summer of 1916, doubling its capacity, giving it 
sixteen beds. The i)roperty is now valued at $50,000. St. I^uke's 
and the Alice Horlick JNLemorial Hospital has no resident medical 
staff, but is open to an}' regular licensed physician for the treat- 
ment of patients or the performance of operations. Miss Marie 
Villman, a graduate of the St. Luke's Training School and a 
registered nurse under the Wisconsin laws, is in charge; the 
chief nurse in the operating room is Miss Julia Pavek, also a 
graduate of St. Luke's and a registered nurse; and Miss Louise 
Brown, a graduate of the nurses' school in Milwaukee and legally 
registered, is in chai'ge of the maternity department. 


This hospital, conducted by the Catholic Sisters of the Fran- 
ciscan Order, was started in 1882 as a branch of St. Anthony's 
Hospital of St. Louis, Missouri. It is located at the corner of 
Sixteenth Street and Grand Avenue, and from a small begin- 
ning has grown to be the leading hospital of Racine. The orig- 
inal building was enlarged in 1889, another addition was made 
in 1897 on account of the pressing demands for more room, and 
since the beginning of the present century still greater demands 
have been made, bringing the institution up to its present pro- 

Although a Catholic institution, so far as ownership and 
management is concerned, it receives patients without regard tt) 
their religions affiliations. The hospital now has accommodations 
for eighty patienits. In connection is a training school for niu'ses. 
Sister M. Angela is the superior and the training school is in 


charge of Sister M. Bernarda. 'I'licrc is ik. mcdii-al staff, hiit tlic 
hospital is open to all reputable physicians, wIk. have the priv- 
ilege of visiting patients there just as if they were in their own 
homes. When fii-st started, the institution was aided l)y dona- 
tions and subscriptions, but in recent years it has been self- 
sustaining, the number of pay patients far outnumbering the 
rliarity cases. 


A short distance southeast of the City of Racine is tlie Taylor 
()r])han Asylum, which was founded ))y Mrs. Emelinc; A. Taylor, 
widow of Isaac Taylor, in jmi'suancc ol' his wishes. In licr will 
she left a fund of $30,000 to be held in ti-ust to erect an orphan 
asylum and support the same, and named as trustees Mrs. Sarah 
E. I)yer, Mrs. Sylvia Goold, Mrs. ]\Iargaret Ferine, ^Frs. ]\Iary 
Murray and Mrs. Charlotte Tapley. Then, after disposing of 
certain property, the Avill "gave and devised all the residue of 
the estate to the Taylor Orphan Asylum." The will further pro- 
vided that the women should elect annually four men to act witli 
them as a board of directors. 

On June 8, 1867, the trustees named in the Avill organized as 
a corporation, when William P. Lyon, Dr. J. G. ^leacham, Sr., 
William T. Van Pelt and James H. Kelley were elected annual 
members of the ])oard. The asylimi was opened on July 17, 1872, 
the birthday anniversary of the founder. Since then it has re- 
ceived, housed and cared for nearly four hundred children and 
has expended in this work over three hundred, thousand dollars. 

On June 2, 1875, eight years after the incorporation of the 
institution, the l)oard reported a fimd of $132,354.70, invested in 
first mortgage securities on real estate and municipal bonds. Five 
years later, through good management, the fund amounted to 
$140,000, which included the direct bequest of $.30,000 and the 
residue of the Taylor estate, above mentioned. The institution 
has not only been self-sup^jorting, but the income has been large 
enough to increase the pennanent fund to nearly two hundred 
thousand dollars. Much of this prosperity has been due to the 
wise investments made by Chai-les H. Lee, who \\'as for twenty- 
five years connected with the asylmn. 

The asylum has always l)een conducted along the lines laid 
down by its founder and benefactor for the orphan and half- 
orphan children of Racine County. Among the features of the 


institution are a c()niforta))lc school-room and a chapel, in which 
religious services are held rej^ularly on Sunday afternoons, the 
aim of the managers being "to give to the children under their 
care such instruction as will make them self-reliant and indus- 
trious; to surround them by influences which will develop their 
moral character and make them useful members of society; to 
give them such a home that they will always remember with 
gratitude and affection the names of Mr. and I\Irs. Taylor." 

The trustees named in ]\[rs. Taylor's will were appointed for 
life. As they were called away by death their successors have 
been appointed by the survivors. The trustees in 1916 were: 
Mrs. C. R. Carpenter, Mrs. A. J. Lunt, Mrs. Wililam E. Lewis, 
Mrs. May Wackerhagen and Mrs. J. G. Chandler. The male 
memljers of the board of directors were: David (i. Janes, Wil- 
liam E. Lewis, Joseph Hocking and Frank AV. Tjovejoy. 


This institution, also known as the "Palmeter Home for Old 
Ladies," was founded by Jolni IL and Eliza D. Palmeter, a child- 
less couple, who felt that their property could be left to no 
better purpose than to found a home for old women. Before 
Mr. Palmeter's death he and his wife often talked the matter 
over. His will left the estate to his wife, with the understanding 
that upon her death it was to be conveyed to a l)oard of trustees 
to be applied to their long cherished aim. Before the death of 
Mrs. Palmeter the Old Ladies' Home was incorporated, with 
Mrs. Eliza D. Palmeter as president; Miss Sarah M. ^Morrison, 
Mrs. Charlotte Tapley, Mrs. (liarles H. Lee, Mrs. F. M. Fish, 
Stephen Bull and E. C. Deane as the first board of trustees. 

The estate was valued at $()(),( )0n, about one-third of which 
was used to erect a st(n-e Imilding, the income from which was 
to be used for the maintenance of the home, and the remaining 
$40,000 was to bi' held in ti'ust as an endowment fund. Among 
the |>i'(ipci'ty owned by the Pahiieters was the parcel of ground at 
the corner of Sixteenth Street and College Avenue, where the 
home now stands. No buildings were erected luitil the income 
from the endowment fund was sufficient for that purpose, the 
trustees desiring to hold tlie principal of the fund intact. 

In March, 1905, the home was completed and opened for the 
recejitioii of inmates. Accoiiiiiiodations are provided for twelve 


old ladies and the institution is now tilled to its capacity. Mrs. 
Otis W. Johnson spent about one thousand dollars in beautifying 
the grounds and the charitable women of Racine raised money 
for the purchase of furniture. Aside from these donations, the 
institution has been supported by the Palmeter bequest. This 
home and the Taylor Orphan Asylum are the only endowed char- 
itable institutions in the county and are really more philanthropic 
than charitable. Each inmate of the home is required to possess 
money or property to the amount of $300. If she owns more than 
that amoimt the balance is invested by the management and the 
income paid to the occuj^ant. In 1916 the management of the 
home was vested in Miss Sarah M. Morrison, president; Mrs. 
Charles H. Lee, vice-president; Mrs. George Miller, David G. 
Janes, Mrs. William Van Arsdale, ]\Irs. H. E. Redmond, C. G. 
(liftings, C. E. Wells and Fulton Thompson. Mr. Janes is 
treasurer and Mrs. Emily Ratcliffe is the matron in charge. 


One of the most unique institutions in Southeastern Wiscon- 
sin is the Central Association, w-hose work is along different lines 
and conducted in a different manner from that of the ordinary 
charity organization. It dates from 1910, when representatives 
of the Associated Charities, the Ncn'th Side Boys' Club, the Day 
Nursery and the Big Sister movement met for the purpose of 
amalgamating all these social service activities and j^lacing them 
under the control of one ])oard of directors. The result was the 
"Central Association." About two years later the association 
purchased the old Sidney A. Sage homestead on Wilson Street, 
to which were added rooms for a gymnasium and the day nursery. 
The projjerty, including the new additions, is estimated to be 
worth $25,000. 

The work of this institution is divided into departments, 
viz.: The family department, which in the early pai't of 1916 
was under the management of Miss Jane M. Knight and Miss 
Kleanor Schoenberger; the Big Sister department, under the man- 
agement of Miss Kate L. Mehder; the day mu-sery, of which Mrs. 
John R. Evans has control; the boys' department, under the 
charge of Samuel Lewenkron, and the girls' department, at the 
head of which is Miss Stella Blake. The last named department 
was added after the association was formed by taking the Girls' 


Club chihs iiitn the arrangement. Much of the success of the 
association is due to the efforts of Miss Lydia C. Wallis, who vis- 
ited eastern cities to study the plans and methods of settlement 
workers, and who was the executive secretary of the association 
for two years or more after it was organized. On August 1, 1916, 
Miss Gladys Blocki was the general office secretary. 

Among the featm-es of the association house is a "hospitality 
room" for homeless wayfarers, who can there find a place to rest 
until they obtain employment. Meetings of a social character 
are held on Sunday evenings. In the •winter months these meet- 
ings are held in the house and during the w^arm weather upon the 
lawn. Foreigners are taught the p]nglish language and the duties 
of citizenship, and the boys and girls, from the youngest up, are 
taught industrious habits. When old clothes come into the asso- 
ciation house, they are ripped to pieces by the older children, 
that they may be made over into garments. Younger children 
are kept busy by having them cut pictures from newspapers and 
magazines and paste them into scrap books, but the association 
proceeds on the theory that "the devil finds some mischief still 
f(»r idle hands to do," and all must work. 

The boys and girls who enjoy the privileges of the gynmasium 
and reading rooms are recjuired to pay an annual fee of five cents. 
The amount thus accumulated is small, but it makes the youth 
feel that they arc paying for their privileges and does not rob 
tliciii of that spirit of independence which is the heritage of 
every American citizen. Women who are compelled by circum- 
stances to work away from their homes during the day, have 
learned that their little children will receive good care in the 
day nursery department, and it is said that many little ones 
seem happier in the inirsery than they do in their homes. If a 
boy is forming bad associations and taking his first lessons in 
vice, Mr. Lewenkron, or sonae member of the Boys' Club, seeks 
him out and endeavors to have him join the ranks, where he \vill 
be surrounded by better influences. The Big Sister department 
does the same thing for wayward or incorrigible girls. In fact, 
the whole work of the association is based upon the hypothesis 
that it is better to reform the youth than to punish the criminal 
after he or she has grown up to mature years. 

The association is supported by voluntary contributions and, 
although it is onlv aliout five vears old. nearlv one hundred of 



the Racine nianufacturci-s have rcco-iiizcd its value as a sueial 
service organization and pay to the association five cents per 
month for each of their emiDloyees. And the greatest phase of 
the work is that it teaches the beneficiaries to help themselves. 
Such charity as the association gives is not doled ont in a way 
to humiliate the recipient, bnt in a way that p(!rmits him to 
retain his self-respect and strive for better things. 





The antlior of a nioiioi^ra])]! ciuhraciiin- tlic above title is 
the Avife of one of Racine's foremost lawyers, David H. Flett. 
The subject is an allurint>- one and has l)een ably discussed by 
a trenchant and fascinating writer. Under the title of "Land- 
marks and Early History of Racine, Wisconsin," this valuable 
and very interesting contribution to Racine's literary archives 
was read before the Woman's Clul) of this city on January 11, 
1905, and afterward printed. The "i)aper" called for many 
high compliments and its worthiness makes for a place in this 
wdi'k, wliich is cliecrfully accoi'ded it "verbatim et literatim." 

Til coiiipiling this record of early homes and early times the 
matei'ial used has been gleaned for the most part directly from 
th( old settlers thems(^lves. This city of over 30,000 inhaliitants 
has made its growth in just seventy (1905) years from the 
l)uilding of the first log cabin, by Cajtt. (lilbert Knapp in 1834, 
to the present time. Knajip's claim constitutes the original 
])lat of Racine. Mrs. Milligan, a sister of Taptain Knapp, 
caiiic here in September, 1835, with her three daughters and 
lived with her brother in the original log cabin until a frame 
h(jme near the corner of Main and Second Streets could be built. 
The log cabin was located near the corner of Lake Avenue and 
Second Street, about where the Palica Trunk Factory now 
stands. Captain Knapp married a second time and in 1842 Iniilt 
a house on Seventh Street, which was afterwards sold to Simon 
Wolff in the early '60s, and when the McMynn School was built 
this house was moved to Carroll Street, where it now stands. 
Both Captain Knapp and his second wife died at the home of 
Mrs. McClurg on Main Street, now the home of M. H. Wallis. 


The socoiid rlaiiii of territory in Racine was that of Joel 
Sage, purchased hy liiiii in May, 1835. This claim of 1<)7 acres 
hiy west of Knapp's chum and had the river for its eastern and 
.snuther7i Ix.nndaries; West Street for its northern homidary, 
tlie section line for its western boundary, and constitutes that 
l)art of the city known as "Sage Town." Shortly after its pur- 
chase Mr. Sage iMiilt his cahiii in the midst of heavy timber on 
a l)luff in the center o±' what is now State Street, and lived there 
alone until the arrival in February, 183(), of his two sons, Sidney 
and Steiilu'ii. Ilic latter being the father of two of the brightest 
members of the Woman's Clul). They kept bachehn-'s hall in 
the cal»in that winter and in the spring hauled logs from their 
cjaini to the Rapids to be sawed into lumber for their new frame 
house. This was completed in 1838 and stood solitary in the 
forest i»i'imeval, the first frame house on the west side of the 
i-iv(T. Meantime, Mrs. Sage had come and the house became the 
center of generous hospitality, as the home of the Sages has al- 
ways been. As at first located it stood in the middle of what is 
now Huron Street, al)out 200 feet south of State Street. It has 
been moved three times, but it now stands on the s<iuth side of 
State Street, a little west of Superioi-, ti'uly one of the land- 
iiiai-ks. for it is nearly as old as the city itself. 

There are three other buildings on the west side of the river 
that arc oT interest. One is the shop of the Dickey Fanning 
Mill Works, Imilt in 1842, located innnediately west of Fourth 
Street Bridge, and directly across the street from the woolen 
mills. This is llie original building and it now stands and is 
used for factory purposes just as it was in that early day eight 
years after the city was fomided. 

A. I*. Dickey came to Ivacine from Ni'W York with his fam- 
ily in 184") and lived first in a house on Main Street that stood 
wliei'c II. M. Wallis' House now stands. In 1851 James Spence, 
fatliei' of James W. Spence. built the house on Seventh Street, 
adjoining St. Luke's (liiild, foi- Mr. Dickey. Here the second 
Mi-s. l)icke\- came as a bride in bS5(), and here ]Mrs. Oharles 
Taylor, Mrs. John ^^'. O'Hai'i-ow and Charles Dickey were born. 

The second building i-efei'red to was the first schoolhouse 
on the west side, it was huilt in 184(5 on IVlarquette Street on 
a lot donated by Mr. Sage. It was a long, low building and in 
aiiont 18.')(i was abandoned as a schoolhouse, cut in two, one-half 

Built by Joel Sage and two sons in 1S3S a little 
State and Huron Streets. It is still standinc. 

;outh of the present junction of 


moved to ^Mound Avenue and the other li.ilf to State Street, ad- 
joininu: the (iarfield School (ii-ounds. where it now stands. In 
the sunnner of 1849 the school had 140 pupils and some of them 
had to sit undei' tlic shade trees, in the early '50s Mrs. Margaret 
Carswell Knight taught here, and ammm the ])upils were her 
two little children, Margaret and .Mai\v (aftei-wards Mrs. Near), 
and Mrs. D. J. Morey. 

The third building referi'cd to now stands at the corner of 
LaSalle Street and Jjihei'ty, and is owned hy Mrs. Alexander 
Horlick. It was built on the tiats nortli of the river, near the 
office of the J. I. Case Threshing ^lachine Company, about 1846, 
by a painter named Flemming, who, with his brother, l;ept a 
paint-shop on Main Street. J. I. Case was an early occu[)ant of 
the house, living here for about six years, from 1857 to 18G3, and 
here Mrs. Fuller, Mrs. Wallis and ]\Irs. Crooks were born. It 
was a beautiful place at that time, having a garden stocked with 
choice fruits, a large yard with forest trees, green and leafy, and 
the river flowing clear not far away. Mr. Case bought the 
"Reuben Norton House," the present home of the Case family, 
and moved to Main Street. The house was then occupied suc- 
cessively l)y Stephen Bull, who, after a short residence, moved 
to Main Street to his present home; then by Reuben Doud, who 
also moved to Main Street after a year's residence, and then by 
]\Ir. Robens, wlio moved it to its present location. He also in due 
time took up his residence on Main Street. There is a tradition 
that it is a lucky house and that whoever occupies it will be- 
<'()me prosperous and move to Main Street. 

There is a little grou}) of early homes at the corner of Wis- 
consin and Fifth Streets, on what is known as the "Guilbert 
property." On the corner is the two-story house binlt by Cap- 
tain Ouilbert, Arthur Guilbert's grandfatlier. and Albert (iuil- 
bert, his son, father of the i)resent Arthui'. was born there. 
Afterwards Professor Heyer, well remlienibered as a music 
teacher and devotee of the game of whist, occu])i('d the house 
during the greater part of his residence in l^acine. 

West of the (juilbert House, on Fifth Street, is a cottage, 
the early home of Charles Herrick. Here Henry F. Heriick 
first saAv tlie light of day something over a half century ago. 
North of the Guilbert House are t\v(j small houses — one the 
"Nick Miller House," the oldest of the old. It was in-obably 


built ill the '30s, and was considered old fifty years ago. It has 
l)laelc walnut siding, sills of hard wood and oak floors, but has 
no j)artieu]ar history so far as I can find. The house next, north 
of the .Millci' Ilduse, knuwii as the "Terbnsh House," was prob- 
ably built about the same time. Moses Miller and wife, parents 
of William Henry and L. D. Miller, boarded here with a Miss 
Perine foi' I'uur oi- five years, and here "William Henry was 
born. .Mr. and Mrs. 'rcrlmsli occupied the house for more than 
fifty years. 

('(iiif inning in this locality several earl}' houses of interest 
.still survive. One is the "Wells-Peck House," the first dwell- 
ing imi-lh (if Fourth Street. It was built about 1838 by Timothy 
Wells, .-ind old I'esidents all agree it was headquarters for the 
young folks. There was always something for them, the finest 
tea parties and the latest news. In 1843 their son, David Wells, 
while huntuig, was caught in a prairie fire and perished in the 
flames. In 1839 Mr. S. B. Peck, a son-in-law of Mr. Wells, but 
then a widower, i-anie to Ivacine from the State of New York, 
t(jok up his residence with his deceased wife's parents and after- 
wards mai-ried their sec(md daughter, and here Mrs. Sprague 
and Dr. Peck were born. Mrs. Wells was a fine, energetic 
woman, and when the present Presbyterian Church was being 
erected, boarded a number of the workmen to pay for her sub- 
scrijjtion. Among her boarders at one time were D. W. Emerson 
and his wife. Mi-. Kmersoii came t<j Racine in 1846 and, with 
his hidllier, Lyman, kept a lumlier yard for twenty years, and 
f()i- lirtccii years i-endered efficient service on the boaixl of educa- 

Another house, known as the "Pennsylvania House," is also 
located on Wisconsin Sti'cet, just north of Stajile Brothers' 
l-'ccd Store, it was imilt by Consider Heath about 1840, and at 
tlie time was the liiiest and most pretentious residence in town. 
Mrs. Heath, who was a daughter of Amaziah Stebbins, was a 
very beautiful and atti-active woman, and their home during Mr. 
Death's lifetime was a social center. Mr. Heath died here in 
danuary, 1848, and his widow has since that time twice remar- 
i-ied, and the last known of her she was living in California as a 
Mrs. Smith. Ste])hen Hull afterwai'ds occupied the house for a 
shoi't time. 

The "Bryan House," on the north side of Fifth Street, be- 


tween College Avenue and ^Vis(•(lllsill Htrcet, is also worthy of 
notice. It was probal)ly built l)y licvi HIakc and was purchased 
by Judge Bryan in the eai'ly '40s t'oi- a l)oai'ding house, but not 
for Lis own use. He came from the East with some means and 
took that way of investing it. When gold was discovered in 
California he joined tlic nisli to the gold fields, but was not suc- 
cessful, and could not even send money for the support of his 
family. Mrs. Bryan moved into the house, took in boardei's and 
bravely brought up her family of boys and girls. Some years 
after Judge Bryan returned broken in health, and a yeai' later 
died in this house. Two sons, an adopted daughter and Mrs. 
Bryan also died there of consumption. The last surviving s(jn 
married Miss May's sister and moved to Kentucky. Later the 
Silloways, Mrs. White's parents, lived there, and still later Airs. 
Mills, the dressmaker. 

The house next door west, on the corner of College Avenue 
and Fifth Street, known as the "Clancy House," was built in 
1847 and purchased by Martin Clane_y, Sr., about 185U. Here 
eight of his children were born, and two daughters, Mary Staples 
and Agnes Winslow were married. 

On the corner of Wisconsin and Sixth Streets once stood 
the early home of L. S. Blake, built in the early '40s. Before 
-Mrs. Blake, who was Caroline Elliott, would consent to go to 
housekee})ing, provisions for a year were bought and stored — 
a barrel of beef, a barrel of ])ork, a barrel of Hour, a l>ox of 
raisins, a sack of salt, green coffee and whole spices to be ground 
in hand mills. ^Ir. and Mrs. Blake spent the early years of 
their married life here and here their childi'en were born. When 
the Blake Block of brick stores was built, the house was moved 
to Irving Court and its present address is 1100 Irving Court. 
Mr. Blake's Fanning ]\lill Sho}) was built on Wisconsin Street, 
hack of the house, about 1840, later moved, remodeled into a 
dwelling and later occu})ied by Miss Stella White, No. 715 Lake 
Avenue. In this shop the little Blake children played under the 
watchful eye of Charles liunce, a faithful employee, who never 
worked for any one else but the Blake family from the time he 
came to Racine in 1838 up to the time of liis death several years 

Levi Blake, grandfather of A. J. Blake and Mrs. Sands Hart, 
moved from Caledonia to Racine in 1839 and built and opened 


n tavern on Wisconsin Stu'ct, between i^'ouitli and Fil'tli. In 
the late '4()s he gave np the tavern and hnilt a home on the cor- 
nel- of College Avenne and Eighth Street, where Jolin P. Davies 
now lives. Later this J'ranie house was moved and now stands 
on College Avenne, jnst north of St. LiUie's PTos])ital, a two- 
story house and very respectable looking even at this day. Levi 
Blake's cabin in Caledonia was known as "Our House," an ex- 
pression which fittingly described the spirit of the times. An- 
other house built by Mr. Blake, stUl standing, is No. 423 Water 
Street, now owned l)y Mrs. JMcDonald and used for a store- 
house. It was built for his son, Albert, Avho first lived in it, 
followed liy his son, Ldward, cousin of A. J. Blake; later it was 
uceii|iied l)y Cliailes Naylor's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Crow- 
ston, who both died there. At one time it was occupied by T). W. 
Emerson, who lived the later years of his life on Superior Street. 
This is really an interesting house — the floors of wide oak 
boards, said to polish up vei-y white, tlie tinil)ers rough hewn 
with the broad a\e and the laths of split boards. Down stairs 
there are two living rooms, a tiny l)edroom and a hall. The 
ceilings are very low. I)ut the ])laster is all on, except where a 
partition has been knocked out, and very white l)ecause made of 
good lime. Iliey say. Only the front door is missing. If you 
moved about in that locality of a morning in an early day, think 
of whom you would meet! Doctor Cai'v, Captain (Juilbert, 
Charles lleri-ick, Moses Miller with his jolly stories. Beacon 
Peck. Ml'. Tei-busli, Levi Blak(> and his two sons, Lucius and 
Albei-1. and |K'i-lia|is bi'isk Mrs. AVells sweeiung the snow fi'om 
her fi'ont steps, or even a peep at pi'ctty Mrs. ( 'onsider Heath 
at the window. 

Until about twcl\-e yeai-s ago. Dr. 15. B. Cary's first home, 
also his office, in which the ])ost office was kept, still stood on 
^\'isconsin Street, between Eourth and Fifth. Doctor Cary came 
to liacine in 1K:'>(), was |)(istinastei' and held the pxisition a num- 
ber lit years. In 1S;!(), in derendiug his claim on Tenth Street 
against a s<pia11ei-, who bad taken possession, he was shot 
through the left lung, but I'ecovered and built the bouse occu])ied 
by -Janies ('(U'se. It lias l)een greatly added to, liowever, since 
that time. 

'I'be Latlirop House, on Lake A\'euue, between Fifth and 
Sixth Street, is vei'v old. It was built in bs:',!) bv a Mr. But- 


tci'ick, a hiitcliiT jiiid |i;n1ii('i- lA' ('h.-ii'lcs llcrrii-k. ;iii(l artcrwards 
] lurchasccl by JNlr. Latliidp. ll was (iriginally oii Main Street, 
hut in about 1880, when the J^athrop busiiiss block, now .Masonic 
TcnipU', was built, it was moved back towards Lake Avenue. 
W. II. Latbrop lived in it continuously tr(»ni the time of liis ])ur- 
eliasc until his new bouse on Main Street was completed, about 

AVilliam H. Lathrop and wife and Cbauncey Latbrop, then 
a young man of 17 years, came to Kacine in 1844 on the steamer 
Chesapeake, the first steam vessel that ever entered this or any 
other artificial harboi- in the State of Wisconsin. Although the 
arrival was made on Sunday morning about church time, they 
were greeted by the firing of cannon, the ringing of bells and 
other demonstrations. 

In 1848 Chauncey Lathrop built a homestead at the south- 
west corner of Park Avenue and Sixth Street, on the site occu- 
l)ied by Jacobson & Beck. Here he lived seven years and in this 
house his three children Avere born. 

Second door south of the Presbyterian Church is an old 
house, the early home of Moses Vilas. It was built about 1841 
i)y Hophni Ilurlhut, a cousin of Miss Georgia Hurbut's father, 
who occupied it two or three years. He was followed by Moses 
Vilas, who held the office of Govenmient Surveyor. He re- 
siu'veyed the "Original Plat," surveyed and platted Sage's addi- 
tion in 1842 and the school section in 1848. His wife Avas brought 
up in the family of Doctor Gary and his son, Albert, supposed to 
be liA'ing in Salt Lake City, Avas born there. 

On College Avenue, the little broAvu house just south of the 
jail, Avas the first home in Racine of Eldad Snnth, father of 
Mrs. Doctor Meachem. He moved to K'acine from Hood's Bridge 
in about 1841, and liA'ed in this house two or three years, then 
built at the corner of College Avenue and Eighth Street, on the 
present site of the Meachem residence. This last old house, 
Avhere Lizzie Smith ]\Ieachem Avas born and married, Avas moved 
more than twenty years ago to the corner of Howe and Thir- 
teenth Streets, where it noAV stands. Mr. Smith Avas a merchant 
and forwarding agent and in 1841 l)ought the first wheat brought 
to Racine for shipment. 

Thomas J. Emerson canu' to Racine from jNlaine in 1844 and 
in 1845 he became school conunissioner, an office he held many 


vcars. Duriiiu" this time lie worked actively for the schools, 
seekint;- to orj;auize them and to place them on a som:d tinancial 
hasis. Throuuh his co-oi)eration the services of J. G. McMynn 
were secured to tlic schools. In 1848 he built a homestead on the 
site of the O'l^au.nhlin home on Main Street, and a portion of 
it still remains. lie lived there seven years and then sold to 
Marshall M. Stroii.u, who died there. His widow sold to Henry 
Mitchell, who added to the house very greatly. Mr. and Mrs. 
Milclicll (.(■(•upicd the house the remainder of their lives and 
afterwards it was sold to John O'Laughlin. 

The liouse on the east side of Wisconsin Street, l)etween 
Sixth and Seventh Streets, and later used by the Augustines 
Wiv a store, is old and interesting. It formerly stood on the 
ciiiiici' (if Wisconsin and Sixth Streets and was built by Mr. 
Perkins, whose widow lived on Lake Avenue a number of years 
after his death. -Mrs. Elisha Raymond, then Mrs. Simmons, oc- 
eu|iied it as a boarding house, and among her boarders were 
N. I). Fratt, Roswell JNLorris and John Hamilton, at that time 
all \(iung men. This was the h(mie of Senator Doolittle for a 
time, and here Mrs. Prindle, his youngest daughter, was born. 
Somewhat later it was occupied by the Scribners, and here the 
marriage ceremony of (ieorgi' W. Slauson and Emily Scribner 
was solemnized. 'I'liere is a tradition that President Lincoln 
came to liacine at one time to see Senator Doolittle and that in 
this house an imjxirtant state paper was drawn, but this I have 
been unable to verify. The nearest ai)proach is the fact that 
Mrs. Lineuin, with hei' son "Tad," a boy of 12 or 14 years, spent 
one sumniei- in lva<-ine, boai'ding at Congress Hall. 

The "Kxchange" was a famous hotel and a landmark of 
Southern Wisconsin, and the building is still in existence. It 
stood near the eoi'iiei- of College Avenue and Sixth Street and 
was built by Arhy Tyicll in the later '40s, later purchased by 
L. S. IJlake. who I'emodeled it and named it the Blake House, 
l-'oi' a long time it was headquarters for the farmers, some of 
whom, owing to the lack of railroads, were obliged to drive 
forty or fil'ty miles <o exchange grain and produce for the mer- 
chandise brought by the boats. About a quarter century ago 
this I)nil(ling was bought by Kriiardt Schelling, moved to the 
corner of (ii-and Avenue and Sixth Sti'eet, donated to the Fran- 
ciscan Sisters foi' a hospital, and was used for that purpose 


about three years. During that time tlic cyclone occuncd jiiid 
fourteen cyclone sufferers were nursed thci-c. In ISSii tlic old 
!)uilding was sold, to conii)k'te its sphere of iiseruhiess as a 
lodgint; and tenement house on Seventh Street. 

Prominent among the hotels were the Kacini' House, located 
at the corner of Monument Square and F'ifth Street, where 
David Lawton's Building now stands, built by Stebbius & Meyer 
in 1837, at a cost of $1(),()()(), and "Congress Hall," located at the 
corner of Lake Avenue and Third Street, built by Loi'enzo -Janes 
and opened by Mr. Mapes, afterwards the founder of Ripon, hut 
both were destroyed by fire. 

The "Racine Exchange," located on Main Sti'ccl, near the 
site of the Racine Water Company's office, 321 Main Street, was 
kept from 1844 to 1850 by Alvin and Elisha Raymond. Board 
here was two dollars a week, good and abundant — plenty of 
game and fish, bread from home ground flour, buckwheat cakes 
and maple syrup from the sugar camp in the Erskine Grove on 
Twelfth Street, then owned by Lewis G. Dole; or from the larger 
camp in the Slauson Woods, noAv a part of the Doctor Shoop 
Farm. Both places call u}) sweet memories to old residents, 
some of whom would remain in camp for weeks boiling sap, 
"sugaring off" and entertaining the sugar })arties that came 
out from to\\n. There was also a sugar camp in Sage's Woods. 

The Fulton House was an early public hostelry, built by 
Smith & Waterman. Every few miles in the country there was 
a tavern. The first one in going west from the city was on 
^Vashington Avenue, between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets, 
called the Frontier House, kept by John Carswell, brother of 
Mrs. Robert H. Baker. The next was where George C. Peter- 
son afterwards lived, opposite Lindenman's, called the "Bull's 
Head." There was also one at Mygatt's, one at Gatlift", one at 
Ives' (irove. 

The Old Baker hoiiiestead. that once stood ;it the coi'ner of 
Main and Sixth Streets, was built al)out 1841 or '42 l)y Capt. 
Thomas J. Cram, a govermnent toiiogi'apliic;iI engineer, and a 
graduate of West Point, sent here in 1838 to survey the harbor. 
He lived in the house for a number of years and the littl(> build- 
ing that now stands on the cornei' of Lake Avenue and Sixth 
Street was built for his office. It stood in the rear of what is 


iinu tlic i)()st office lot and was filled with maps, charts and sur- 
vcviiiii- instrnniciits. It is very tiny and has two pillars in front, 
and now beloni^s to Mrs. Tcetiarden. In 1850 Doctor Foster, 
Mrs. II. Raymond's father, Ixiu^ht CajDtain Cram's house and it 
became the scene of iiian\' gaieties. The office was moved to the 
north side of the lot and here Doctor Foster extracted teeth 
without anaesthetics and practiced the most modern methods 
of dentistry. Since 1 began this paper one of the pillars has 
fallen, wliirh gives the little building a quizzical expression, as 
though with one eye closed, it silently laughs at all Avho pass. 
After a few years Doctor Foster sold his home to J(jhn C. Camp- 
bell, the superintendent of the Racine & Mississippi Railroad 
Company, who in about 186!) sold to Robert H. Baker, of the J. I. 
Case Threshing Machine ('oiiii>any. Here Edward Baker was 
boiii and li\'e<l foi' many years. When the post office was built 
the dwelling house was divided and moved to Sixteenth Street, 
the front part to the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Sixteenth 
Street and the rear ])art was converted into a saloon. 

\\'illiam IJailack and Thomas Graham of the Town of Dover 
made green blinds for the Cram House, and they were the first 
blinds in the city. Messrs. Ballack and Graham came to Wis- 
consin as early as 1840 and settled in the town of Dover. Mr. 
(ii-iham was a millwriglit, and he and ]\[r. Ballack built the first 
grist mill at llie Ivajnds. Mr. Ballack, who was a fine finisher, 
built the staii'wny in the Dui'and House on Alain Street. These 
stairs were considered VQvy remarkable and were visited by 
many other l)uildei's and used as a model by them. Robert 
Gather owned this hous(> at one time and also a Mr. Farnsworth, 
a lumlier mei-chant from Sheboygan. Captain Cram also built 
the "Ilerrick House" on Twelfth Street. This house was oc- 
cupied for a time by the bi'otlier, Eliphalet Cram, of the firm of 
Knight & Cram. 

Captain Cram surveyed the Racine & Janesville road for the 
construction of which the ITnited States Government appropri- 
ated $in,()(lll. ;in(l 1liis money was e.\])en(le(l upon it in 1839 under 
Captain Ci-am's direc1i..n. In 18-18 the b'acine & Rock River 
Plank Road Company was oi-ganized and 1he consti-uction of a 
phink road was at once conuuenced, from Lxacine west on the 
Mygatt's Corners Road. The plank for this road was brought 



. fi 











u| i^ J. 

r/f^ 11/ 










w.:;^r-' ' 


Early Racine Hotel built by Lorenzo Janes in l,s4y as a home. Located at southwest corner of Lake 
Avenue and Third Street, facing lake. Burned in 1S>;2. Marcus Weed was the first landlord. 


Old Courthouse in left center: H. J. Smith residence at left: Paul Kingston house at riKht. 
Racine House at corner of Market and Fifth Streets. 


ffdiu ^luskegoii hy ('apt. Lariy Easson in the schooner "Union," 
and he and James Bcaiiiirand handled nearly all of it. A little 
later the Racine & Wihnot Plank K'oad (\)m])anY was organized 
to con.struct a phmk road from Kacine t(i Wihnot in Kenosha 
County, and proceeded at once to build such a I'oad along what is 
now Asylum Avenue and extending for ten or twelve miles into 
the country. The Kacine & Raymond Plank Road r()mi)any 
also built a plank road for some distance out of the city, frcjm 
the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company depot to the 
Rapids, along what is known as Northwestern Avenue, and 
thence west towards Frauksville. 

Toll gates on all these roads were set short distances apart — 
one being on Washington Avenue, between the Howell School 
and John Bolton's, kept by Carrie Paul's father, another near 
the site of the "Bull's Head," and another near the Beebe 
School-house. One of these toll gates was kept for a time by Dr. 
Gilbert R. Tait's grandfather, and the regular toll was about 
2 cents a mile for a wagon and team, all persons, however, at- 
tending a funeral or religious meetings on Sunday, were ex- 

The house that once stood on the corner of Main and Sev- 
enth Streets, long known as the "Chavnicey Hall House," had 
but two occupants up to the time of its removal — Lorenzo Janes 
and the Hall family. It was built by Mr. Janes for his owna. 
home about 1846 or 1847, and into it both Mr. and Mrs. Janes 
put the best that they could create, or remember of the houses 
to which they had been accustomed. Every portion was well 
built, that a good home might be left for their children and 
grandchildren. David G. Janes and his sister, Mrs. Doctor 
Egan, were born there, and George Janes, their soldier son, 
brought home from a Southern hospital, died there after an ill- 
ness of two Aveeks. To the family luiusual memories cluster 
about this house and the site of their dear old home seems a fit- 
ting place for the public library. The house is now located on 
Park Avenue, near Fifteenth Street. It was built by Lucas 
Bradley, who came to Racine at an eai-ly date. He designed and 
constructed a very large number of buildings, among these, still 
standing, in addition to the Chauncey Hall House, being the 
Presbyterian Chui'ch and the residence of Doctor Kark on Sixth 


Thei-e stands a house on Lake Avenue, between Fourth and 
Fifth vStreets, that is a characteristic old house with its porch 
and piUars against the huikliuu and narrow windows about the 
front dooi'. It was built on .Main Street al)()ut IS-tO by Mr. 
Chadwick, a raipciitcr. latci' moved ti» Sixth Street, and when 
Robert II. Hakei' wished to build his barn John C. rain})liell, 
who then owned it, moved it to its j)resent location. Doctor 
AVilson, a pai-tner of Ur. P. R. Hoy, lived here at the time Hugh 
Gorton's oldest child was born. 

There are two old houses on Lake Avenue, between Third 
and Fourth Streets, once the homes of the owners of docks and 
warehouses, that were formerly on the lake front at Second and 
Thii'd Streets. There is the frame dwelling, No. 320, built by 
William 'rui-iibuU for a sash factory, remodeled by Patrick 
Mur])hy, of the firm of Raymond, Button & Com])any, for his 
dwelHng, and sold in 1850 to Alvin Raymond, who lived in it as 
a home until his death in 1893. 

These docks were not built until the haiixir was completed 
in 1844. Previous to that time passengers and freight had been 
conveyed to the vessels in scows and lighters. The building of 
railroads caused six elevators and two bridge piers to fall into 
disuse. The bridge piers, the one at Second Street, owned by 
AVaterman, and the one at Third, owned by Raymond, Button 
& Murphy, are worthy of note. By means of piles they were 
built out into the lake until the water had a depth of twelve or 
fourteen feet. Tli(\v were four or five hundred feet long and 
eighteen to twenty feet wide and greatl.y facilitated traffic, en- 
abling teams and wagons with their loads to be driven directly 
to and i'l'om the vessels. 

The other house stands next door north. No. 316 Lake 
Avenue, and was built by Seneca Raymond of brick bought of 
Heath & Dickinson, from their yard where the J. I. Case Plow 
W(»rks now stands. He lived there mitil he embarked in the 
lintel business as pi'oprietoi' of the "Racine Exchange," from 
184(i to 1850, and tlieii of "Congress Hall." 

lentil recentl\- the house of A. P. Buttcm, built in 1846, and 
ficcupied by him fi-om that time until his death, a period of over 
fifty years, also survived, but it now has been torn down to 
make way for M. M. Secor's factory building. 


Daniol Slauson caiiic to Racine in 1S37 and his family in 
May, 18158. lie i)urcliasc(l a claim of Kid acres from Mrs. Milli- 
gan. During the sunmier the family lived in a log shanty and 
in the fall moved into their tVame house erected on the site of 
the present brick house now owned hy Thomas M. Kearney. 
The lumber for this house was sawed here, but the windows, 
sash and doors were shipped from New York City. In about 
1867 this frame house was m(»ved across the street to the north 
side of Washington Avenue and latep was moved fartliei- l)ack, 
and at last used for a stable by (ieorge Teall. The log house on 
the Kearney Street property was built for a coo])er slio]). and 
at the time was the only one in the vicinity, so all the pork bar- 
rels for the farmers and butchers for miles around were made 
here. This shop was also used as a fdace for the animal town 
meetings and as a polling place for many years, and is worthy 
of preservation. 

The old ))rick house on the south side of Sixth Street, be- 
tween Park Avenue and Villa Street, known as the "Ives 
House," Avas the tirst brick house in Racine. It was built about 
1840 by Ira Dean, the first brick mason in Racine, for Henry F. 
Cox, who was the tirst clerk of court for Racine County. His 
health failed and he went south, where he died. He left the 
property to his sister, Jane Cox, who had married Stephen Ives, 
and they occupied the house for many years. 

About 1844 of 1845 Roswell Morris built himself a house on 
Sixth Street, about where the office of the Racine Gas Company 
now stands. About 1850 this was purchased by Ljanan Muuroe, 
grandfather of Louis P. Munroe. Mr. Munroe occupied the 
house up to the time of his wife's death, when it was sold and 
later movd farther west, and you may now see it second door 
frcmi the corner of Sixth Street, on Stannard Street, facing east. 

Roswell ^lorris and William Waterman built the Old Court- 
house in 1839, the Old Jail in 1841, and the Register of Deeds' 
Office in 1842. These buildings were erected for Captain Knapp 
in fulfillment of an agreement with the officers of the county to 
the effect that they were to convey to him a clear title to his 
claim of one hundred and forty-one acres, and he in return was 
to build the county buildings for them. 

In 1841 Racine, with a population of about 400, was incor- 
])orated as a village with Dr. Elias Smith as its first president. 


Doctor Smith came from near Cleveland, Ohio, in 1835. He 
never en,ua^ed actively in his i)r(tfession, bnt with William 
Waterman, who came with him, opened a store in 1836 imder the 
name of Smith & Waterman. This fii-m also built the Fulton 
House, wliii-li preceded the Racine Exchange. In 1841 he built 
the Hubacheck House, No. 113 Fifth Street, and lived there 
many years. Later he moved to the McCalman House, on INIain 
Street, that once stood where Mrs. Jackson I. Case's House 
now stands. Here he spent the last years of his life. This house 
is now the rear portion of W. W. Rowland's home on College 

Doctor Smith was very much interested in old relics and 
especially in the Indian mounds, and co-operated with Dr. Philo 
R. Hoy in opening and examining several of them, and he him- 
self is bm-ied in Mound Cemetery, immediately adjoining one of 
these mounds, which Doctor Hoy describes as "containing seven 
skeletons, all in a sitting position and facing east." 

Ill 1848 Racine was incorporated as a city with Reuben M. 
Norton as its first mayor. ]\lr. Norton was \vith Mr. Tillapaugh's 
uncle. He came here in 1840 and soon after built a home for 
himself at the corner of Washington Avenue and Center Street, 
later used as an office building by the Mitchell-Lewis Wagon 
Company, then moved across the street, remodeled and used 
as a dwelling. Mr. Norton was a lumber merchant, who later 
Ix'came wealthy and built the homestead now occupied by Mrs. 
,1.1. <'asc, (in Main Street. Su])sequently he met with reverses, 
Idst bis property, removed to Chicago, formed a partnership with 
his son-in-law, Augustus Gray, under the name of Gray & Com- 
pany, and was again successful. 

11. S. Durand came to Racine from Hartford, Connecticut, 
in 1843, and in 1844 he occupied the house at No. 512 Park 
Avenue, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Sanders. He after- 
wards built the handsome residence on Main Street, later pur- 
chased and remodeled by Frederick Ro])inson. He at once en- 
gaged in the wholesale and retail mercantile business, under the 
tiiin name of Dnrand & Hill, and in the insurance business with 
his brother-in-law under the name of Durand & Miller, both 
duly advertised in tlie "Racing Argus," the first newspaper 
puljlished in Racine, and for thirteen years he was president of 
the Racine & Mississippi Railroad Company. 

Photo furnished by Billings 


Photo furnished hy BillinKs MAIN STREET. RACINE. IN THE 'GOs 

Southeast corner of Main and Fourth Streets 


The hmiso, which oiico stood near the corner of Sixth and 
Main Streets, and which was moved by Messrs. Bnll and K'ol)- 
inson to make way for their barn, was built by Thomas Wiiuht 
in the early '40s. He did not live very long and his widow mar- 
ried J. Y. Scammon of the Record-Herald and moved to Chicago. 
It was next occupied by (Jeorge A. Thompscm, president of the 
Racine & Mississippi Railroad Company. Afterwards it was the 
home of W. T. Lewis for four or five years. Mrs. Fixen was 
born there. Mr. Morris, of Morris & Pugh, also lived there. 
When the Hotel Racine was built the old house was purchased 
by Miss Scribner and moved to Wisconsin Street, and then 
again moved to make way for the barn. 

The "Dr. Martin House" on Main Street was built by Nel- 
son H. Pendleton in the late '40s, and occupied ))y him luitil 
about 1850. He sold to Marshall M. Strong, who after a few 
years sold to Simeon W. Spafford. It was afterwards purchased 
by Dr. S. J. Martin and occupied by him for a period of over 
thirty years. 

The "Hunt House," that formerly stood at the <'orner of 
Main and Ninth Streets, was erected about 1840. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hmit were both musicians, fond of social entertainments, and 
frequently had large companies at their home. It was after- 
wards purchased by H. (1. ^litchell, enlarged and occupied by 
him and his family up to the time of the completion of his new 
home a few years ago, and was then moved back and now fronts 
on Lake Avenue. The windows, sash and doors for this building 
were shipped from Buffalo. 

A. G. Knight came to Racine in 183G, walking all the way 
from Chicago. His family arrived later in a sailing vessel. He 
kept the Racine House in 1838, was Register of Deeds from 1841 
to 1843, and Clerk of the Court from 1844 to 1848. In 1851 he 
engaged in the real estate and abstract business, in which he 
continued until his death. He was one of the incorporators of 
the "Racine Seminary," and captain of the first militia com- 
pany. For a time he lived on Superior Street, south of State, 
and afterwards built on the corner of College Avenue and Fif- 
teenth Street, where he lived for many yars. This liousc was 
moved away a few years ago to make room for ^Mrs. Knight's 
new house. 


Br. Philo H. Hoy cnnio to Rafiiic in tlu' sinmiRT of 1846, 
and at once took jxissessiuii of a s(niatt('r's deserted house that 
stood on the presi'iit site of llic William Ilciiry Miller House, 
on M.nn Street, eoruei- of Ninth. Shortly after he built a new 
bouse here, usinu' the old part for a kitchen. Here for a lout;- 
series of years he i)racticed his profession and })ursued his scien- 
titlo studies, and here l)()th he and his wife died. Here also two 
of his children — Mrs. Miller and Philo Hoy — were hovi\, Mrs. 
Miller was manned, and her two children were born. The old 
house has been ]-enioved and now stands on the east side of 
(J rand Avenue, between Fifteenth and Sixteenth Streets. It is 
quite unchanged, and even the windows, with their small panes 
of imperfect glass, remain. 

The "Eddy House," 724 Main Street, is also an old settler. 
Tt was pro])al)iy luiilt by Doctor Blanchard. Mrs. Milligan and 
family occupied the house at one time and her nephew, Robert 
Knapp, who afterwards married her daughter, boarded with her. 
The family afterwards moved to Shawano, Wisconsin, where 
Mrs. Milligan died, and where most of her children and grand- 
children still live. 



This chapter is devoted to the descriptions of tliis (-imiity, 
sent across the waters of the Athmtic by venturesome men (A 
the Isle of Guernsey. These men came here early in the histoi\v, 
not only of the County of Kacine, but also of Wisconsin Territory 
and the state. They left comfortable homes in their native land 
and courageously tempted fate and tni'tunc by crossing the wide 
exi)anse of water separating them from the laud of the free and 
of unlimited opportunity for those who dared and had the spirit 
and stamina of the pioneer home builder and conqueror of new 

Racine County was very young, in fact she was still in her 
swaddling clothes, when the (luernseyman heard of the wonders 
of the land and forests and lakes and rivers of this great domain, 
which is a part and parcel of the State of Wisconsin. His lot 
ill the mother country Avas one of unceasing toil, with little op- 
portimity to gain much in the way of a home that he could call 
his own. He was a renter and always would be a renter as long 
as he remained satisfied with conditions that had obtained for 
centuries in Britain. Learning of the unlimited resources of the 
new world and the hitherto unheard of facilities for securing 
land at a nominal cost, these people from Guernsey early made 
their appearance in Racine County and, by their letters back to 
relatives and friends in the old country, induced many of their 
countrymen to join them here and do that for themselves which 
they could not do in their native land: Make a home for them- 
selves and their progeny. 

In the letters herein reproduced from an old diary, the 
reader will have the good fortune of learning at first hand the 
appearance of this locality, the nature of the soil, prices of land 
and of its products, which obtained Avhen inhabitants were few, 
land cheap and money scarce. The customs of the country are 
graphically described and difficulties are hardly noticed. Mr. 


Lr i'lL'Vdst, however, very modestly is often given to a denial of 
any intention of persuading his correspondents across the water 
to accept his description of the country, as he kept in mind that 
he might possibly be prejudiced in its favor. He certainly did 
not stint his subject of adjectives when describing his new home 
in Wisconsin Territory. However, he was a man of high recti- 
tude and ever mindful of all the virtues, of which truth is not 
the smallest, and the reader of the present can now see Mr. 
Le Prevost did not over-color his pictures in linming the beauties 
of Hacine County. Let it be ol)served from the letters them- 
selves how closely he kept to the shore of facts in expressing his 
unbuuiidod delight in his new surromidings. 

Copy of letter written by Mr. N. Le Prevost, on arrival in 
United States, dated Racine, Wisconsin Territory, Sptember 12, 
1840, received at Guernsey, November 6, 1840: 

We left New York the 6th of July at 5 o'clock evening, ar- 
rived at Albany the 7th at 11 a. m., 160 miles. We embarked at 
noon of same day on a canal boat. Arrived at Buffalo on 13th 
July, at 8 a. m., distance 369 miles. On same boat, dragged by 
two hoi'scs, we passed a number of towns and villages, among 
them were Troy, Utica, Syracuse, Palmyra, Rochester and Buf- 
falo, all fine towns. The 13th of July, as above, we embarked 
on board a steamboat for Cleveland in Ohio, and we arrived the 
14th, being the next day at 9:00 in the morning. Distance 196 

We arrived at our cousins, Mr. James Mansell, at 4 o'clock 
past meridian, which person was quite overjoyed at seeing us, 
as also his wife and daughter — distance 12 miles. Our cousins of 
the Paysans are always together and of good record. 

1 decided :ni(l left my family at Mr. Mansells on the 19th 
of July, and went to Sandusky, on ai'i'ival there I was informed 
that this part was not healthy — that people were subject to 
tiT'nd)ling fever. From there, I i)roceeded to Toledo — it was 
item — ])ut as 1 had heard speak greatly in favor of Milwaukee, 
in the Wisconsin — It was my route to pass by Detroit, where I 
ai'i-ived the 21st July. Th<> country of Michigan is not very 
healthy-^1 embarked on 22ntl, in the Steamboat Illinois for INIil- 
waukec, at which place I arrived 26th July — distance from my 
wife 800 mih'S. 1 remained there two davs. 


I saw several lands or estates for sale at nindcrate prices, 
and I agreed with a cooper for employment, until Feb. 1841, in 
expectation of passinc^ winter in town with niy laiuily. 1 tixik 
my departure next day; rejoined my family at Ohio, where 1 ar- 
rived on the 1st of Aug., and left our cousins and their families 
on the 7th for Milwaukee, at which place we arrived on the 11th 
at 5:00 in the evening — distance straight line from ]\lr. Mansells, 
754 miles. 

The next day I went to the cooper, who iniornied me he 
could not employ me for want of wood. 

Up to this time all the lands that I had seen were woody 
and the fanns cleared and for sale, were at $10 to $30 per acre; 
but I was informed that at Racine there were Government lands 
called Prairies to sell at $1-1/4 the acre. 

I left my family on the 13th and proceeded to Racine, dis- 
tance 25 miles, Avhere I saw those Prairies. Oh! the beautiful 
grounds, not a tree and full of grass about 15 inches high, and in 
the lower parts 3 feet high — but as there is wood required for 
fire and building, and it has to be purchased second hand at from 
$5 to $8 per acre, and from 3 to 5 miles distance of the Prairies, 
I got discouraged. 

I saw several farms for sale at from $5 to $12 per acre, one 
in particular pleased me, for which it was offered me at $6-14 
or $500 for 84 acres. 

I rejoined my family on the 15th, and on my report of the 
estate and the ajopearances, we decided upon going to establish 
ourselves there. In short we purchased a fine mare of 4 or 5 
years old for $70 and a wagon for $75, so as to carry my family 
to see the farm. 

We left Milwaukee on the 18th, and we hired a house in 
town for one month for $5 per month. We drove out to see the 
farms with our horse and wagon most every day — as much on 
one side as the other. 

I made an offer for the farm I had in view as above men- 
tioned, but they would not accept my proposal, I appeared quite 
careless and told them I was offered- some farms from right to 
left. We went to them several times but still could not agree. A 
la fin the 1st of Sept., they came and offered it at my price, the 
gold tempting them, and the 2nd Sept. passed the contract, and 
I have paid the amount. 


Now 1 have to iiil'onn yovi that we have a farm r-oiitainins; 80 
acres of land, but to make you understand better our farm meas- 
ures Guernsey Vergies of land; it has 126 perches or i/o mile in 
length, and 63 perches or 14 mile in l)r('a(ltli all joining together 
and situated at 3I/2 niilcs distance of the town of Racine, on the 
Lake Michigan side, and 55 miles north of Chicago — 10 miles 
north of Siiuthport and 25 miles south of Milwaukee. 

Of the 1!»H A'crgies 18 perches there is about 100 where 
there is not 10 cart loads of timber. 

Those Prairies are not of a wet soil, but the greatest part 
laboui'able, because the ground is what is termed Voultante. In 
the middle of the Prairie I have a beautiful platen for hay, of 
which r cut myself 7<)8 tons last week. On both sides of the 
field there was fine wheat and Indian corn, potatoes, cabbages, 

There is about 50 vergies enclosed — the rest is not. In the 
middle of the farm there is a run of water that does not dry and 
that separates the Prairie from the Woodland. 

'I'lic \\d<Kl consists of oak, nut trees and hickory — the black 
soil is from 1 to 2 feet deep — not like Ohioh — which 1 have 
seen is imT 4 inches deep with a soil of clay beneath. 

1 know dear Amit, that you are anxious to know what T 
have paid for it in all. 

In the first place 1 nuist tell you that there is a log house, 
and 2/3 of the produce; 2 ticks of wheat containing I suppose 
about 700 sheaves equal to the Guernsey ones, and the wheat is 
fine; the Indian coin is not yet cut, but I expect to have 40 
Bushels barl(\v iiicasurc; and about iJO Inishels potatoes, and 400 
cabbages, onions etc: a (juantity of melons and pumpkins, to 
feed the cattle on and the (tnly cow they had on the estate. 

I have paid for all, farm, crop, cow, etc., and etc., 81 sov- 
ereigns, which makes $405, for the sovereigns are worth .$5, at 
New York they are worth $4.84. 

I have purchased 5 old rams. 3 pigs (me year old, 3 pigs 
2 months old, one heifei' IS montlis old — the whole for 6 sov- 
ereigns or $30; and I am 011 the point of purchasing a yoke of 
oxen 3 ycai's old foi- $40 so that we can labour our land and 
eat bread and meat, without being anxious about our rents. 
The only tax we have to pay is $6 per year. i\lay God bless 
(Juci'nsev with all its slaves. 


My dear Aunt, if there are an_\- (liicnisc\- iiicii wlm wisli 1m 
quit their uidthci-, to come to America, tn purcliasc laud, let 
them come straight lu-re, without stopping elsewhere; tiUed 
farms are too dear, and those that are not cleared i^ecjuii-e a 
great deal of labour; but hei-e they arc tm- the most part 
Prairies, which are easy to clear and at service. The land is 
very cheap and we can keep as nuu-h cattle as oiie jileases. 'They 
have the run of the woods and ])raii"ies, that are not closed, 
and the hogs fatten on the acorns and nuts, and all the animals 
find themselves near the house at night. It is only in the win- 
ter season that a person must be cautions to have a good supply 
of hay, according to the quantity of cattle kept, and it' ;i person 
has not a sufficient on his own grounds he can cut on the (lov- 
ermneut \\ithout j^aying anything. 

At Guernsey it seems there is nothing in America !)ut thieves, 
barbarians and Indians. 

To prove the contrary the way we have passed, we have seen 
merchandise, tools, etc. in the street night and day, and nobody 
complains of Ijeing robbed; besides we are the oid\' house who 
close our doors with lock and key. In the country houses they 
have not even an overlatch at their doors. 

There are Indians in these parts, but they have taken oath 
to conform themselves to the laws of the state. They neither 
say or do anything to any person. They are of a yellow taint 
and long black hair. They paint their faces and have rings in 
their ears, and some even in their noses, for ornament. Their 
dress consists of a blanket, to envelope them, some wear trou- 
sers, and others stockings, others have knee breeches, and a 
waist band ornamented with beads; and they make baskets etc., 
A\ith ash splits, which they sell for a livelyhood; they kill game 
for their is no want of it hear: in 3 hoiu's I shot 15 pigeons, and 
3 ducks all wild. 

I have written to our counsin Mansell and i expect him 
in 15 days, for he promised to visit us when we would be estab- 
lished, for he does not like the Ohio land and I am sure he will 
purchase here, for we seem to be on Guernsey land. 

There is only five years that this land is inhal)ited by the 
whites and it is astonishing the luunber of people already set- 
tled here, but most parts have purchased from Government with 
borrowed monev, and there are some who pay as high as 50% 


fur tlicii' hoiTdwed iiKincy, the least they leud money for is 7%. 

The i)i'()(hice is eheaj), viz — Flour at $2^4 per 100 pounds, 
or 220 lbs. flour for £1. 

'I'lir licet' is at 3c per pound, pork 4c, Mutton 4c, potatoes 
1/- per bu. so that large amounts are not realized. They are 
oblig(>d to sell their farms at little profits or lose them. This 
is a favorable time to purchase. 

I' am satisfied of my bargain, for our produce \\ill go by 
water to Nev^^ York, which is and will always be better than at 
New Orleans. 

We can go to New York in 13 days from here, by water 
without putting foot on shore. 

They arc erecting flour mills here so that they will require 
flour barrels. 

My deal- Aiuit, there are all species of fruit, and we have 
strawberries on our Prairie, raspberries, phuns, apples and 
grapes, gooseberries and currants in the woods. 

The other day I proceeded, accompanied by Betsy, Man- 
sell, Deborah and Louisa, to fetch 3 Bushels of wild apples, and 
two bushels of nuts (small), we had a great many large ones. 

Margaret and Mary have more work for the ladies than 
they can do. 

We are well respected here. 

We have a Prcsbytci'ian, Anglican and Baptist Churches 
etc., etc. 

My daughters have H/- Guernsey mone.y for making a gown, 
4/- for a ])(ninet, 3/() for each man's shirt, which is double the 
Avages they have at Guernsey for the same work. 

In America there is no distinction — a poor man is as much 
respected as the richest — behavior causes the liberty and 

\Vc ai-c seven in llic family; we had 3(5 hundred in weight 
of baggage; for cartcrage, })orterage, draggage, canals, and lakes 
.since our depai'fui'e from Giuernsey u]> to our arrival here, with- 
out reckoning oiir victuals, provisions that we took from Giiern- 
sey — , if has cost just 107 sovei'cigns or i:l5:(J:0 each person, and 
we have lost nothing of oui- effects, and although it has ruiit 
us foi' the tT'anspiu-fafion of our luggage, it still comes cheap. 

Ill <1h' Weekly Dispatch, printed and published at No. 139 


Fleet Street, London, April 11, 1S41, is the following copy of a 
letter from John Cole, farmer, late of Alenliss, Somerset, to his 
friend, Mr. Gibbons, of No. 2 Arbor Street, Commercial Road, 
East London: 

Wisconsin Territory, Nov. Ki, 1840. 

Dear Sir: I promised when I left England to bettci- my 
condition ])y emigrating, and that if successful I would write 
to you. At length T have been as good as my word. 

I had a fair passage from Bi-istol to New York. After 
remaining here a few days I began my labors in this wide 
country and traveled through the whole of the northern states 
(the Canadas), l)ut could see no chance for a farmer of small 
capital to begin farming ujjon new land in these heavily tim- 
bered countries, to bring about anything like comfort in my 
life time. Every rod of ground is covered with timber, the work 
of a man's life time to clear a small farm, and cleared fanns are 
very dear — entirely out of ni}' reach — so I began to think of 
returning to England again; but seeing a great emigration in 
this countr}' from the other states and Canada, I resolved to 
go back and look at it, and believe me, I found it as much before 
any other country here as it is possible to be in every point of 
view. This country is as handsome in appearance as any part 
I have seen in England. If any industrious person with £100 
to £200 does not get a good independent and certain living here, 
it must be entirely his own faidt. I am located three miles from 
the seaport town of Racine. The land all about this part is 
of the best quality — principally black loam, and already fit for 
cultivation — not a stick, bramble, or stump in your way. The 
timber is in clumps or groves, aboiit one mile apart; enough for 
fuel or building purposes only, and there are tamarack nearly 
fit for rails, without splitting, to fence in your farm in any 
quantity (a great advantage not to be found in any other part), 
as a person can fence in his farm with very trifling trouble. 

There are no land speculators here, or land companies 
puffing nwt their flattering delusions, to get a high price and 
profit for their land, like they are in Canada, Australia and New 
Zealand. The (lovernment office is open daily foi- the sale of 
any of the vacant lands, at $5 per acre and no more, title deeds 
included. I Purchased eighty acres, and the whole of my taxes 
do not come to more than seven shillings per year, including 


school tax. No poor vatos and none wanted; no tithes, no police- 
man lurkinj;- about your peaceal)le homes, inquiring what you 
have in your pot for dinner, nor is there any need of them. 

1 will just state how rapidly this couutiw is settling by 
emigration from (\xnada and other states. It is now four years 
since the Indians left this territory (about the size of England). 
The capitol, Milwaukee, was then two log huts, now it is a large 
town with twenty-four taverns, and churches, court house, gaol; 
many large offices for government j)roffessional men too; many 
shops of every kind, and three newspapers, j^rinted weekly, and 
a reading room, with English papers there at present 23 days 
old. Four steamboats and several large vessels lying in the 
harbor. Shop goods, take one thing by the other, about as cheap 
as in ijoiidoii; mostly American manufactures. Sugar, soap, and 
candles you can make yourself, only for your labor. 

Farming stock is very plentifid, the old settlements are so 
vciy near, (iood cows $16 each; horses $30; piggs you may have 
foi- almost nothing, they are so plentiful; and almost every kind 
ol' lisli, too, particularly trout, showing that the Avatcr is of the 
best kind. 

Tills is the best watered country I have ever seen — eqiial 
to any part in England — so that you can locate in any part, 
all having water ]>rivileges; not like Australia, where you can 
only locate in cei'tain spots, for want of water; and a healthier 
country there cannot be. I have seen no sickness these two 
years I have been here from the effects of the climate (very 
(liffei'ent to the other parts I have seen), from its being such a 
line open hill and dale country; no long levels or stagnant waters 
w liicli cause eveiy kind of sickness in America. There is winter, 
il is tiMie. but it is not longer or more severe than it is in Eng- 
land, and we have ]ilenty of fodder. T have at least three tons 
of hay per aci-e in the meadows. 

Yon will |ii-ohal)ly think I am speaking very flatteringly of 
this country. Iml indeed I am not. 1 declaiv I have no interest 
or benefit in the wcu'ld in giving an untrue statement. I have 
no land for sale and am confident that if no person comes here 
from England, the lands will soon be bought and settled ujxtn. 

T am truly thankful to jorovidence, that directed me to this 
line coniitr.v, and I never wish to leave it. It is so adapted to 


an English constitution: and al11i(iin;Ii I liavc Itccn here s(i short 
a time I have all the (-(unrorts 1 could lia\c in a village in 

There are several places of \v()rsiii[> within three miles, one 
only half a mile from this ])lace, and we nnister 300 or 400. 
Several saw and grist mills within two oi' Ihi'cc miles, and plenty 
of society. More than I could hav(; in l^]ngland, as wc; are pretty 
much on an equality, all farmers, having i)]enty of provisions of 
every kind and nothing to pay; so we can ait'ord to visit each 

You may think we have uo market for oui' i)roduce, ])ut yes 
we have and always shall, at Racine, three miles from us. We 
have always vessels waiting to take the produce to New York 
(via Buffalo ), but at ^^resent the new settlers take all we can get. 

I have been induced to give some account of this country, 
believing it to be almost unknown in England. The emigrants 
for the far west have passed it by there having been no landing 
place until the last six months. I send inclosed in this letter 
a book written here, giving every particular for the information 
of an emigrant, should any of your countrymen be inclined to 
throw by their prejudices in favor of their own colonies, which 
settle at a snail's pace. 

I have a neighbor who has been in Australia and returned 
here again. He says that one acre here will produce as much 
as three there, and where he found l^^nglishmen 30 or 40 miles 
from any human being, for want of water to locate progressively. 

You can come from Quebec or New York in 8 days by wat(M' 
at a cost of £3 for an adult. 

Extract of a letter from N. Le Prevost, dated November 
22, 1841: 

Tlie produce is partly bartered or sold for eastern bank 
notes; but they have no confidence in Ohio, Michigan or Illinois 
notes. They are seldom received with respect to morals. A 
newcomer must keep his eyes open with respect to dealing, etc., 
etc. The first settlers had little or no money; their moral actions 
were similar, but they are selling off rapidly and another set of 
more civilized men are daily increasing. In one year no less 
than 12 farms have been sold in our neighborhood, within 3 
miles on either side of us. Among the newcomers are <> A\'elsli 


families direct from "Wales; they have bought two farms one 
mile west of tis. They contain together 985 acres with part of 
the (^(11)8 and a few head of cattle for the smn of £858.10. They 
are dividing tliciii between the families and what is remarkable, 
is that the |M(i]>lc traveled tlii'ough Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and 
Iowa and tlien came to Wisconsin and settled here on account 
of the market (the lake), good soil and healthy climate. God 
forbid that L should praise this country more than it deserves, 
but I must say that this i)art is healthier than Guernsey. The 
soil is good if well tilled, and requires no manure for years, if kept 
from weeds; but unfortunately it is not the case with Americans, 
neither do they sow seed enough. Many of your countrymen 
will say that J boast, and perhaps say that I do not say the 
truth. i-Jut as Mr. I. Ozanne of the Great Wind Mill of St. Mar- 
tin's is coming, he will write to Guernsey how he will find this 
country, as I am persuaded they will like it, provided they come 
here before harvest. I mean to accompany them on a visit to 
Messrs. Toriiuh' of Illiiinis, and to ^Ir. Le M. of Prairie du Sac. 
I must say that we are as healthy here as at Guernsey. 

Ill Se])tembci' there will be a great demand for winter wheat 
at one dollar j'er bushel; spring wheat 1/ less. In October 
winter wheat 6/, spring, 5/ cash. At present little demand, no 
exportation. Price for winter wheat 5/ in goods; l)arley, 3/; 
spring wheat. 4 (J in goods; oats, 1/6; potatoes, 2/; turnips, 1/ 
pel' busheh Kggs, 1/; butter, 1/6; the above are American 
shillings at six pence each. 


A lettei- from N. Le Prevost to a friend in the Isle of Guern- 
sey, dated Oakhmd Farm, Racine County, Wisconsin, 14th March, 
3841 . Ill part he says: 

By a view of the map, the whole territory will be seen at 
once, and as to the climate it appears to be the healthiest — 
winters are rather cokler than in Europe, but very dry and 
healthy. Five bushels of good wheat will give 200 pounds of 
fine Hour, of whidi one eight is given for grinding. In Illinois 
and Indiana there arc rarnici-.s who cultivate maize (corn), as 
it does not cost in hiboring and sells for 25 cents the bushel, 
whereas here it sells for 371/2 cents. 

Our country (Racine) being a new country, there is not 


much cultivated tor the market, which is the crmsoqnence of the 
low price of land — j^ovenunent price $!'/( an acre. Six years 
ago the territory was surveyed, measured and divided in ranges, 
townships and sections. All lands IVoiii government are to be 
paid for in gold or silver. , 

Three lots of land were sold since I purchased mine, as 
follows: one of 80 acres of prairie and 35 of timber, but no 
improvements for $250. Another of 160 acres, same qiuility 
as what I purchased, but no improvements, for $400. Another, 
80 acres of timber and 100 of prairie, no improvements, $500. 
The two first were offered me but I preferred the first for $500. 
The advantages here are that vast quantities of land can be 
purchased for little money, and you improve it and cultivate 
it at your leisure. But more east the land (wild) is not so cheap 
and all wood, and the improved land is too dear. There is not 
a farmer out of ten that has a stable for his cow nor other 
buildings; some have sheds, open on one side. There is still a 
great quantity of land to sell in ouv environs cheap during this 
year, but later it is supposed the price will change as commerce 
grows better. There are also parts of large farms to let, pay- 
able in produce, no money. Here we have the lands prepared 
from the original state for cultivation for $3^/^ per acre, without 
touching it yourself. We often see visitors from the different 
parts. We have also had the visit of two of Mr. N. Tarade's 
sons, brother to Mr. Tarade at deBoui-g, in Guernsey. They 
have been 22 years in the United States, and at present are 
visiting in Illinois, 66 miles south of us (Chicago). They have 
remained with us 3 days. They have 406 acres of deeded land 
and have laid claims on one section and one quarter, or 800 
acres, which they expect will come to market this year. They 
are prepared to buy them, for I have it from a neighbor who 
told me they had plenty of money loaned out. They are the 
father, mother and three cliildrcu; one of them who ])aid us a 
visit, named Peter, has been magistrate for four years from 
the year last, and the other, riiarles, had not seen rinernsey for 
the last 21 years. 

We are all well satisfied of our situation. We arc not in 
a palace, our house is of wood, the custom of the country. In 
our kithchen we have a fire-place at one end and a cooking 
stove in the middle, and when it is very cold we have a good 


lire in each. Gucid wheat to make bread and cake; good meat 
of our rearing; we have fallowed four pigs weighing together 
net meat 750 pounds. We make our leaven with hops and 
flour; we also make our soap and candles. The education of our 
children does not cost as much with us as with you. We have 
district schools during winter. There is a certain quantity of 
land in each township sold for the benefit of the schools, and 
each i)upi] fiii'nishes his proportion of wood for fire, and the 
master l)oards a certain time at each pupil's house. We have 
religious societies of all denominations. We have mills for 
grinding corn and sawing timber, four miles from us on Root 
river. We cany large logs of timber on sleighs in winter. This 
goes when there is snow, and goes much better than by roads. 
The wood for firing is done the same way. A good blacksmith 
and armorer would do well here. Iron sells at 5 cents a pound; 
the cost of shoeing a horse anew is $2. A good deal of chain 
is used l)ut no cordage. There is not much work as yet for 
carpenters, cabinet makers, tailors, masons and all the other 
trades, but females, milliners that would be good to make bon- 
nets in straw and plat could find continual employment and at 
a good pi'ice. Tailors for man and woman have a great deal 
of work at double the Guernsey prices. There is no dead season 
here. However, of all the i)rofessions the fanner is the most 
independent here, and as little as 80 acres can be procured of 
the government, or of second hand as little as 40 acres in sort 
that a iii.iii having a little understanding, with a little money 
and willingness can estal)lisli himself here, live and bring up 
his family with more contentment and ease than he can in 
]<]urope. All I write is n(»t to encourage any to come here, but 
I have traveled here until 1 found a place to my satisfaction 
and not too close to Oucrnseymen. Not that I detest them, liut 
on the cctntrary. l>ut it would seem that one cannot live unless 
he is close to the other. If any should come out here to settle 
or take a visit, trip, we will do to them as we would be done by. 

* * * * * * # # .)f Af 

111 a leUcj' written by N. I.c Prevost, dated at Oakland J^^irm, 
iv'aciiic (\)unty, Wisconsin Territory, 18th July, 1842, the writer 

had the follow iiig to say: 

.Mr. .lames Ozanne and lainilx- arrived at Racine the 22nd 


of June, 1842. They lunubcivd 17 as follows: Mr. O., his wife, 
three sons and a daut;hter (Louise Carre'), et leui- cousin James 
Ozanne, son of John, formerly of (DesLisle) an Catel, Mr. AUe 
IJulsh, his wife and four children, Sam Boone, his wife and 
Mr. Kaife and wife, all in perfect health. 

As soon as they saw the beautiful i)rairies in our neit^hbor- 
hood they were quite charmed, and Mr. Ozanne informed himself 
of farms that were to be sold, their price, quality, etc. He saw 
several. As we were on our departure, my wife and myself, 
on a visit to friends, Mr. and Mrs. Torrade of Illinois, I asked 
My. Ozanne to accompany us to see that part of the U. S., and 
then we should pay Mr. Le Messuries of Prairie du Sac another 
visit previous to our returning home; but he was so charmed 
with our country and the proximity of the market, either for 
New York by the lake, or for New Orelans l)y the Illinois canal 
and down the Mississippi! 

He informed me that he had spoken to several jjersous on 
his passage to New York here and they were all against Illinois, 
and to take it all together it is an unhealthy place. He also 
spoke to them about Wisconsin River and Prarie du Sac; they 
told him there was no better market than New York and other 
eastern ports and New Orleans, and all were of opinion that 
east of Wisconsin bordering Lake Michigan was preferable to 
rivers that were not navigable only in spring and autumn. Con- 
sequently, he told me he was decided to purchase as he desired 
to have a farm containing half a section, which is 320 acres, viz: 
two quarters side by side, which makes one mile long and half 
a mile in width. There were only 3 for sale in oin- neighborhood 
of this size. If it had been two quarters cornering he might 
have found twenty farms. Of the three above half sections one 
was offered for $2,000. Another for $3,500, and the third, which 
contains 15 acres more, that is to say, 325 acres, for $4,000. 

I accompanied Mr. O. to see the farms and compared the 
advantages ^^'ith the disadvantages of the whole of them, and 
finally the balance was in favor of C. Marsh, Esq., meaning 325 
acres, of Avoodland of which there are 115 acres, and of the re- 
maming 220 acres of prairie 130 acres are cleared but without 
crop. Therefore Mv. Ozanne purchased without crop for the 
simi of $4,000, and takes possession of the land as fast as the 
crops shall be removed from off it. 


Mr. Ozaniie and ianiil}', the l-tth inst., proceeded to inhabit 
a farm house on the estate luitil the latter end of September, 
until tlie otlicr house would be empty. The above mentioned 
farm house is not comprised in the purchase and will be trans- 
l)oi'ted. The alxtA'e estate is four miles S. W. of us, which makes 
it 8 miles from Kacine town, and 5 miles from that of Southpoi-t. 

Mr. O. has also purchased a half section <if land from gov- 
(iiiiiKiit at three miles distance of his estate, and his cousin, 
.James, son of John, has purchased of the government 80 acres 
joining the other. Mr. O.'s estate cost about $12 per acre, 
which is dear, considering the prices which they have been sold 
during the last year; but he has the finest estate in Racine 
county, and after all it only cost £1 per bergie. 

Alexander Burch, to iiis Aunt and Cousin at (Juernsey: 

Pike Drove. Southi)ort, 19 Dec. 1842. 

In my last letter to my mother and friends I promised to 
write to you the next packet and let you know how we got on 
in this country; 1 now fulHl my promises and hope they will 
find you all in good health as it leaves all at present, thank God 
for it. You have, 1 make no doubt, by this time seen my letters 
concerning this country and our voyage; we still continue to 
like this place, and find it nnich easiei' to maintain oiir family 
in this than the old covmtry. 

My last letters will give you a faithful description of this 
part of Wisconsin, which T can assure you is not more highly 
colored than the reality will warrant. When I Avrote last in 
November we had very fine weather; the week following we 
had a I all of snow which lias continued on the ground ever since. 
We have had 2 or 3 very cold days indeed; nu;ch colder than 
1 ever found in fJuernsey; our milk, water, bread, beef, and 
indeed everything was frozen at night in the house. Now 1 
fancy I see you pitying and saying, "poor Jane" and the chil- 
dren," but T can assure you they are all safe and comfortable; 
we have got a good warm house, and plenty in it; we have got 
a good stove in the middle of the room, which I take care to 
pi-ovi(lc with lirewood; as for .lane and tht' cliildi'cii — they do 
not feel the cold as much as they did in Guernsey. 


I have worked ever since I have been here, so far; carpen- 
ters keep stoves in their shops, and they are more comfortable 
than in Guernsey. This is most beautiful weather; the sun 
shines bright all the day long. This is the time for visiting, 
and I am now writing at 6 o'cldck in the evening, and the Misses 
LePrevost have just called to invite us all to spend our Thrist- 
mas holidays with them. They have come more than three miles 
in a sleigh; almost every person has got his sleigh out drawn by 
horses, decorated with bells ringing away so mei-i-ily. On the 
whole we like this winter much better than in (iuernsey; we 
have had but two days of rain this winter. 

There is plenty of game to shoot; there are deer and sand- 
hill cranes — a bird that stands 4 feet high — & praire hens, and 
quails and a great many more; the pi-airie hen is as big as a 
connnon hen. There are pigeons in thousands, and every person 
is free to shoot if he has an inclination to do so. 

My business now lays with Peter; I nmst say that I wish 
him very much to come out to me. I am sure that he could do 
Tuuch better here than in Guernsey. This is a new place and 
yours is an old one; you have every thing built, and we have 
everything to build. When I look over the immense extent of 
country west of us, and see how fast it is settling, and at the 
lake, where the whole of the produce of these immense prairies 
has to be shipped down to the sea, I feel confident that these 
rising towns, that seven years ago were forests, and now contain 
from 1,200 to 1,400 souls, will rise quickly to be places of great 
importance. Now many chances offer to us if I could embrace 
them, but situated as I am with Mr. O. I cannot do a thing as 
yet; I could have taken many jobs if he had been here; the 
towns offer us tine chances; we can buy building lots of ground 
cheap, and we can build the whole of the houses ourselves; no 
masons or plasterers are wanted with us. Tlic house I live in 
I built myself, from the foundation to the ridge, plastering and 
all; there is not a house nor a room to let in either town. 

I should like when I leave Mi'. O. for ns to take jobs together; 
the wages are four shillings per day; (»r if he engages by the 
month, about $160 and board j)er year; if not boarded the wages 
are from 5 to 6 shillings per day. I do not say that he would 
l)e sure to get this on landing, ])ut I tell him what others get; 


they do not always get all in money, but sometimes they get 
goods or land which is as good as money. Neither do I advise 
any other jjerson to come here unless he has money, as it takes 
some time to get acquainted with the country. But Peter must 
come to our house; never mind if he has not a penny in his 
pocket; i \n ill uiaintain him free of cost until we get something 
1() do: lie shall be welcome, and we will treat him as one of our 
ow 11. there is not a house painter in either town; do not let him 
stay ill (iuernsey, as I am siu'e that if he comes here, that we 
shall be enabled to do something to our umtual advantage. 

Tile next thing is the expense of coming here; now, if T 
had not to pay ^Nlr. O the whole of my expense from New York, 
1 could already have assisted him oitt, as I have paid him a 
consideraljle sum on account, l)ut my hands are tied for one year 
at least; it will cost from £10 to £12 to nnm' here; Mr. O's cousin 
\vli(. came with us, told me it cost him £10, and we stopped 10 
days in New York, — pi-ovisioiis and all. 

Now I think that you. aunt, could raise that sum amongst 
youi' friends; consider what a thing it is to see a young man 
"losing his young days in such a place as Guernsey, with nothing 
hut the prospect of the poor-house before him; exert yourselves, 
and do not rest until you have collected that sum; it will be an 
opening likewise for Charley hereafter; his trade is very good 
here; I am sure you can collect the money if you like; he will 
be very different when he comes to us; when he arrives he will 
have a home to come to. 

To Peter 1 would say, — come by Portsmouth; you will find 
some beautiful ships whicJi I have seen; it will cost £5; you must 
find a chafT bed; take plenty of potatoes, cheese, ham, coffee, tea, 
a little jelly, and a few nice things, — apples 6cv. and medicine; 
keep yourseir clean and you will do veiw well. 

When you arrive at N. Y., eiKpiire for the quay where the 
lake boats stop, and enquire for ('apt. -lames Bright; he belongs 
to the lake boats; try and make a bargain with him or the agents 
to take you to Buffalo; if you fail, put your baggage in the 
steamboat for Albany, where you will find many boats going 
up the canal i'or liuffalo; keep the remainder of your brisket 
of provisions to make use of on the canal; the bread along the 
canal is not very good. Find yourself when you arrive at Buf- 


falo; seek for a steamboat going to Southport, put your baggage 
on board, and bargain with the captain to take you; try and have 
not too much higgagc; put your clothes in your tool-chost, if you 
can, — -you arc allowed about 100 lbs. in weight — tlic rest you 
must pay for. lii case you run short of money, you can get your 
passage for helping to wdod the shii), but it is hard woi'k, and 
I would not reconunend it, only as a last resource. Kind your- 
self on the lakes; it will take you one week to ascend the canal, 
and foiu' or five days the lakes, and .you will be delighted with 
your passage'. 

When you arrive at Southport, euciuire for Mr. Marsh, 
butcher, and he will inform you where we live; we live five miles 
from him; leave your baggage there and couie to me. T would 
rather that you came witliout a tool or anytliing else than to 
remain in Guernsey; I have seen many in America that have 
been assisted out, doing well; do not mind that, or hearken to 
the many stories you hear. 

We have no Guernsey mechanics Avithin perhaps 1,000 nnles 
of us, so their stories cannot affect us. All I can say is that 
we have plenty of everything that we can wish for except fruit, 
as the country is too new to grow any yet, except wild; but the 
old settlers have planted trees, and foui' oi' five years will make 
a great difference in that respect. 

Mr. Bone, Mr. Roisscy and ourselves, have got a good quar- 
ter of beef hung up to freeze, from which we cut beef-steaks 
every morning for breakfast, and we have paid 8 shillings 
Br't'sh. per cwt.; (can any mechanic in Guernsey do that?) 
If you have not many clothes, do not let that trouble you, as 
the difference in price is not as much as you would think. If 
you have any old warm coats, bring them, as they will be useful 
to you on your passage and here. Ask William Wells to get you 
some hay seed from some good hay, and bring them to me. 

I should like you to ask some of my friends to send me 
some of Redstone's views of Guernsey to show the Yankees, and 
some needles. Be sure to pay attention to this letter, and l)ring 
it with 3a)U. Take care of your money, and try and rebate on the 
prices they will ask you; you ought to have :'. pounds left when 
you arrive at Buffalo. Do not stay at New York more than a 
day, as it is very expensive. Always eu(iuire what it will cost 


vou before you engajic in aiiything-, as they are very apt to take 
ill strangers if they can. i do not think 1 can say any more on 
this subject. If you make up your mind, do it quickly. You 
will receive this about the beginning of February, and will have 
plenty of time to get ready by the month of March. I would 
advise in that iik tilth or A])ril; however if you cannot so early, 
come later. 

CHAPTEIy' xxiii 




If ever a people was justified in making war, the North, 
in the Re1)elIion, had a righteous cause. A small minority arro- 
gantly demanded the right to dominate the whole, and to fasten 
permanently on the country an institution abhorrent to the 
great majority of its people. That war was the meeting of two 
antagonistic civilizations under (me government, in battle for 
mastery; an aristocracy based on slavery and slave lal)or, and 
a democracy founded on liberty and universal labor. The con- 
ditions bred an "irrepressible conflict," which could not have 
been settled until settled aright. Years before it transpii'ed, 
statesmen saw the inevitable, and after the event anybody could 
see the steps by which the country approached the catastrophe. 

^^Tlile slavery was the underlying cause of the war, its 
immediate exciting cause was the threat of disunion, which came 
soon after the election of Abraham Lincoln to the pi'esidency. 
This event was recognized by the South as sounding the doom 
of their pet institution, and with it of tlicii' most cherished hope 
of dominion. The slave states seceded, one aftci' anotlicr. and 
thus furnished a clear-cut issue on which the North could unite. 
"The Union must and shall be preserved," was the battle cry 
(»n which the war was begun and fought to a successful conclu- 
sion, the emancipation of the slaves being an incidental, though 
inevitable, emergency war measure. 



Th(> first foncertcd move in Racine County against slavery 
was the prcsentatidii tu Congress in 1845 of the following, most of the signers of wliicli were citizens of Racine. 
It is evidence of the fact that the early settlers here understood 
the nature of ilic "institution" and wished to take no chance 
of its getting a lootliold in the territory: 

"To the Ilonoraltic, the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives of the U. S., ill ( 'ongress assembled: 

"The undersigned, inhabitants of the Territory of Wiskon- 
sin, having learned that a numl)er of slaves are reported from 
this territory in the census of 184U, and l)elieving that it is the 
pur])ose of same, who regard not the natural rights of our fellow 
men, llic tiiic interests of our territory, and our general welfare, 
to intlict upon us tire terrible curse of slavery; and believing 
that the introduction of slavery into this territory would be in 
violation ol' the ordinance for the government of the Northwest- 
ern territory, and the constitution of the United States; 

"Respectfully jjray your hcmorable body to take measures 
for the unconditional liberation of the said slaves, and to free 
us from the odium now resting upon us as slave-holders, and 
also etfectually to protect, forever, this territory from the intro- 
duction of slavery, and the consequent evils and curses of that 
evil system. 

"Jacob Ly Brand, Edwin A. Roby, Amaziah Stebbins, Joel 
\i. Carpenter," F. W. DeBerard, Joseph Adams, H. W. Fuller, 
L. I'aiiiielee, .John l\ Flyuu, K. S. Cajjron, Anson Jones, Reuben 
Chadwick, (ieorge S. Wright, W. H. (iillespie, S. W. Wilson, 
Samuel W. Hill, Thomas E. Parmelee, A. T. Briggs, J. W. Vail, 
A. C.. Young, William F. Cole, Edward S. Blake, Chester Bush, 
lieiiiy Hewitt, H. H. H. Briggs, W. H. Lathrop, Albert H. Blake, 
Henry S. Diirand, Ceorge H. Carpenter, E. S. Capron, Ira A. 
Uice, Iliiam Koote, .James (). Bartlett, J. B. Jillson." 

The aliove and thii-ty-five other names were signed to the 

I'revious to the war there was interminable controversy 
between the North and llie South about many things, all of them 
related, directly or indirectly, to the "institution." One of the 
dramatic, tragic phases of that controversy was that connected 
with the capture and return of fugitive slaves. For many years 


[>rior to the war an increasing!; iiumbor of tlu-sc iinrurt iiiiatcs 
were making- thcii- way tliiduuh the Xortlicrn States to Canada, 
where, imder the British tiag, they were free. There grew up 
aniono- the a])olitionists of the North an organized assistance 
to this movement — animated by humanitarian motives alone — 
by means of which the runaway slaves were secreted, fed, 
clothed, transported, and in every possible way forwarded in 
their flight. Their Southern masters could easily follow the 
fugitives to ceiiain points in the free states, when all trace of 
them would be suddenly lost. "There nnist be an underground 
railroad," was their conclusion, and from that time "under- 
ground railroad" was the name by which that system of help 
for fugitive slaves was known. 

The passengers on the "underground railroad" were above 
the average in intelligence and in 2jhysical prowess. They were 
men and women \\lio were determined to have liberty, even 
though they lost their lives in the attempt, as they fretpiently 
did. The slaveholders did all that they could to put the fear 
of the consequences into their slaves. ^\Tien one of them ran 
away from the plantation, those remaining were never permitted 
to kiKjw the result of the dash for liberty. If those who took 
up the chase returned without him, they never reported a fail- 
ure, but always success. "They had caught the rimaway and 
had sold hun south"; or, "they had killed him," was reported, 
so that those remaining would be impressed with the wisdom of 
staying where they were. 

Of course this organized effort to free the slaves enraged 
the slave owners, and in 1850 they procured the passage through 
Congress of a "fugitive slave law," by the terms of which it 
became the duty of United States marshals to arrest and return 
rimaway slaves wherever found, upon a warrant issued by a 
United States Court. It provided, also, that anyone hindering 
the arrest of a slave, or attempting the rescue or concealment 
of a fugitive, became subject to a fine not exceeding One thou- 
sand dollars, or imprisomnent not exceeding six months, and 
was also liable for civil damages to the party injured, in tlic 
sum of one thousand dollars for each slave so lost. 

"In aiding fugitive slaves, the abolitionist was making the 
most effective protest against the contimiance of slavery; but 
he was also doing something more tangible, he was helping the 


oppressed — he was eluding the oppressor, and at the same time 
he was enjoying tlie most romantic and exciting amusement 
open to men who had high moral standards. He was taking 
i-isks, defying laws, and making himself liable to punishment, 
and yet could glow with the healthful pleasure of duty done."* 

"Social disdain was brought on the 'railroad' workers. 
'Black abolitionist,' 'Niggerite,' 'Amalgamationist' and 'Nigger 
thief were some of the epithets used." 

Notwithstanding the dangers involved, the names are known 
of 3,200 persons in the North and l']ast who were engaged in this 
work, among whom are listed the following from Racine County: 
James O. Bartlett, William L. Utley, A. P. Button, AVilliam H. 
Waterman, S. B. Peck, George S. Wright, Charles Bunce, Elder 
Fitch, General Reed, Dr. Secor, Dr. E. G. Dyer of Burlington, 
Captain Steele and ]\Ir. Peffer, and there were certainly others. 
Tliese men were known as those who could be trusted with infor- 
mation concerning the operation of the "road," and who could 
be depended upon to do all in their power to help along a fugi- 
tive slave. Few people knew at the time that they were so 
engaged, for "the penalties of the law, the contempt of neigh- 
bors, and the espionage of persons interested in the return of 
fugitives to slavery made secrecy necessary." Their names now 
constitute a roll of honor for their children and for the City and 
County of Racine. 

A common method of getting these fugitives to Canada was 
l)y means of steam and sail boats on the Great Lakes, and all 
of tlic ])orts oil the west shore of Lake Michigan were made use 
of, more or less, as stations of the "underground railroad." A. 
P. Dutton had a grain warehouse and knew all of the captains 
wlio made this port. Among them were the following who were 
friends of fugitives and who transported them free to Canadian 
liarl)ors of refuge: Capt. Steele, of the propeller Galena; Capt. 
Kelsey. of the Chesapeake; Capt. A})pleby, of the Sultana. The 
boats of (Jeneral l\eed, touching at Racine, also received them 
witliont fare, as did the Madison, the Missouri, the Niagara and 
tile Kevstone State. "Mr. Dutton knew these vessels and their 

'Albert Bushnell Hart, in introduction to "The Undersrround Railroad," by 
W. H. Siebert. 


officers and fni' twenty years shipped I'linaway slaves as well 
as cargoes ul i^nnn fVom liis dock in l\a('ine."* 


The first passenger on the "road" thnm,L;li Wisconsin Ter- 
ritor}' was (^indinc, a young woman I'ugitive slave, whose 
patronymic was never disclosed, if it were known. She was 
successfully "conducted" on this trip by Lyman (ioodnow of 
Waukesha, and it was a journey full of hardship and peril last- 
ing live weeks, during the sunimci- of 1842. They were hunted 
and followed all the way by United States officers and other 
slave chasers, but eluded them all. Dr. E. G. Dyer of Bui-ling- 
ton, father of Charles E. Dyei- of Racine, was one of the agents 
of the "road" who contributed time and money in assisting Mr. 
Goodnow in his humane, l)ut illegal, luidertaking. Di-. Dyer 
might properly have been called one of the general officers of the 
"undergroiuid" in this secticm, for he was enthusiastic, resom-ce- 
ful, courageous and unremitting in his labors in behalf of the 


Although slave-hunters had at different times been in Ra- 
cine in pursuit of their detestable business and incidentally of 
their l)lack victmis, only once were their hands laid on a negro 
in this town, with the purpose of retm-ning him to slavery, and 
that attempt failed. About the year 1852, a negro named Joshua 
Glover appeared in Racine and soon found a home up the river 
near the saw-mill of Rice & Sinclair, about four miles from 
town. In the winter of '53- '54 he worked in the mill. On the 
evening of March 10, 1854, a little before dusk, eight men, in 
two ^\•agons, drove from Racine to within about one hundred 
yards of Glover's cabin, where they left their outfit and pro- 
ceeded on foot. These men were Deputy Marshals Charles Cot- 
ton of Milwaukee and John Kearney of Racine, a man named 
Garland from St. Louis, who claimed he owned the negro, Glover, 
and five other men. Cotton alleged that he had a warrant for 
(jlover's arrest, issued by Judge Miller of the United States 
Court, ]Milwaukee, but he did not serve the paper. 

Through the connivance of a colored man named Turner, 

* "The Underground Railroad," by W. H. Siebert. 


wild had ingratiated himsolf into the confidence of (ilovei% and 
wild, with another colored man named Alby, was in Glover's 
cahiii on that evening, the door was unbolted at once at the 
knock of that marshal. Glover was promptly knocked down 
and, after a desperate struggle, manacles were placed on liini. 
Alby fled. Turner Avas an interested si^ectator. Glover was 
put into one of the wagons and the party started toward town. 
One wagon was put up at the M. G. Armour livery, where it 
had been hired, and the other, containing Glover, Garland and 
the deputy marshal, was soon surrounded by indignant citizens 
who had learned of the attempt. There was not time enough 
for the indignation to develop into concerted action before the 
officers got out of town on their way to Alilwaukee, where they 
did not arrive until the folloAving (Satm-day) morning at 8 
o'clock, having lost their way in the night, which resulted in 
their traveling many miles in the wrong direction. At 9 o'clock 
on Saturday morning word came by wire from Milwaukee that 
(tlover had ])een placed in jail there. It is evident that the 
indignation and excitement must have increased over night, for 
on receipt of this news the court-house bell was rung to call the 
people together and the largest assembly that ever had gathered 
in the town up to that time filled the court-house. 

T. E. Parmelee was made chairman and R. W. Rowe, secre- 
tary. Gen. C. S. Chase stated that the object of the meeting 
was "to consult in the matter of the abduction of Joshua Glover 
from the premises of Duncan Sinclair, and who was now in 
Milwaukee jail, and to adopt measures to secure for him a fair 
trial." D. Sinclair, C. S. Chase and Wm. H. Waterman were 
a])i)ointed a conmiittee on resolutions. In the absence of this 
committee addresses were made by Rev. C. D. Pillsbury, Charles 
Clement, Dr. S. W. Wilson, and later by Wm. H. Waterman and 
C. S. Chase, in which the opinions of the people of Racine on 
the fugitive slave law and the slave chasers, with their high- 
handed m(>tliods, were given free and full expression. Men of 
all i)arties and creeds were there, and the votes on the resolu- 
tions adopted, and on every motion put, were unanimous, not a 
dissenting voice being heard in the meeting. 

The following resolutions were then read and adopted: 
"Whereas, A colored man by the name of Joshua Glover 
was kidnaped four miles from our city last night about 8 o'clock. 


lie has bocii and was at work for one of our citizens (a riiitliful 
laborer, and an honest man). 

"l^esolved, That we look ni)on the arrest of said (llovcr as 
an outrage upon the peaceful rights of this assembly, it having 
been made without the exhibition of any papers, by first clan- 
destinely knocking him down with a chih, and then binding him 
by brute force and carrying him off. 

"Resolved, That we, as citizens of Racine, demand foi' said 
Glover a fair and impartial jury trial, in this, the state where 
he has been arrested, and that we will attend in person to aid 
him, by all honorable means, to secure his unconditional release, 
adopting as our motto the Golden Rule. 

"Resolved, That, inasmuch as the Senate of the United 
States has repealed all compromises heretofore adopted by the 
Congress of the United States, we, as citizens of Wisconsin, are 
justified in declaring, and do hereby declare, the slave-catching 
law of 185U disgraceful and also repealed." 

A finance committee was next appointed, consisting of W. 
H. Waterman, E. R. Roby, N. S. Storrs and Mr. Burnham. An 
adjournment was then taken until 1 o'clock, at which time the 
meeting reassembled and resolved to send a delegation to .Mil- 
waukee to carry into effect the resolutions ado^tted. The d(dega- 
tion consisted of one hundred men, who. with .Mi'. Watei-man as 
leader, took the afternoon boat* and airived in Milwaukee at 
5 o'clock. They were at once escorted to the mass meeting 
which was in session in the court-house square. They had been 
there but a little while when an attack on the jail was made, the 
doors battered down, and Glover released and spirited away. 

A writ of habeas corpus had been issued by Judge Ghai-les 
E. Jenkins of the County Court, but neither the sheriff noi' the 
United States marshal would obey the writ and produce the 
prisoner. "The great writ of freedom had failed indeed, but 
a power more effective than any si)ii'it, the righteous wi-atli of 
an outraged people, had accom])lislie(l its pui'})ose.t 

Entrance to the jail was elTected liy the use of a long, heavy 

*No railroad was in operation here at that time, except the "Underground." 
t John B. Winslow, in "The Story of a Great Court." 


piece of timber, which was lifted on the shoulders of as many 
men as could get under it and used as a ram, being driven end- 
wise with as much speed as could be made, into the doors, and 
of course they yielded. 

There was a high state of feeling all day Saturday in Racine 
and when, in the evening, dispatches were received telling of 
Glover's escape, "bonfires were lit, cannon were fired, l)ands 
of music paraded the streets, and every other sort of demon- 
stration in evidence of the gratification of the people at the tri- 
umph of humanity over brutality and the slave-driver" was 
indulged in. 

In conunenting on these occurrences, The Daily Morning 
Advocate of ]\larch 13, 1854, said, among other things: 

"The fugitive slave law is not the law of Wisconsin; a 
higher and better rule of conduct governs us here. 

"The fugitive slave law cannot be enforced in Wisconsin; 
this the minions of the slave power may as well learn sooner 
as later; the people will not suffer it; they understand too well 
that great charter of rights \\hicli is the birthright of every 

Charles Clement was editor of The Advocate and he and 
William H. Waterman and Oeorge Wright were arrested for 
their part in this affair, but there is no evidence that they re- 
ceived any punishment. 

Commenting on his arrest, Mr. Clement said, in his paper: 
"We have not been alarmed or unhappy on account of it for a 
UKiiiient. We nnist be permitted, however, to express our pro- 
found, immitigated and sovereign contempt for the law which 
we are charged with violating, and the puppets who are tinkling 
their bells in hopes to aimoy us." 

(iarland, the slave-owner, was also arrested on a warrant 
issued in Racine, on a charge of assault, but managed also to 
esca|i(' puiiisliiiiciit, being released (in a writ of habeas corpus, 
issued by Federal -ludge Miller (if Milwaukee. Sherman M. 
Booth of Alilwaukee, who, it was alleged, instigated the attack 
on the jail, was convicted of the charge and sent to a federal 
prison, where he was confined, more or less continuously, until 
the spring of 1861, when he was pardoned by President Buchan- 


an, which deed of mercy was ahmit the last act of his admini- 

In his address to the court in the snmniino- np of his case, 
after denying the charge (of unlawfully aiding and abetting the 
escape of Olover), Mr. Booth said: 

"T am frank to say — and the [)rosecution may make llie 
most of it — that 1 sympathize with the rescuers of (ilovci', and 
I rejoice at his escape. 1 rejoice that in the first attempt of 
the slave hunters to convert oui- jail into a skive pen, they liave 
been signally foiled, and that it has been decided, by the s])on- 
taneous uprising and sovereign voice of the people, llial no 
hiunan being can be dragged into bondage fi'om Milwaukee. And 
1 am bold to say that rather than have the great constitutional 
safeguards and rights of the people — the writ of habeas c(U'pus 
and the rigid of trial by jury — stricken down by this fugitive 
slave law, I would i)refer to see every Federal officer in Wisconsin 
hanged on a gallows fifty cubits higher than Hamau's." 

The sentiment was loudly cheered l)y the spectators in the 
court room, though the speech and the demonstration scandali/ed 
the court. 

The refusal of the sheriff of Milwaukee County to recognize 
the writ of habeas corpus, or to permit its execution, in the case 
of Glover, was the legal excuse of the leaders of the moli wliicli 
made the riotcms demonstration at the ^lilwaukee jail, and 
released the negro. There was a well-grounded fear, based on 
a previous experience in that city, that should the fugitive not 
be freed before Sunday, w^hen Monday morning dawned he and 
his alleged owner w^ould be well out of the state and beyond the 
jurisdiction of our courts, and the hope of helj) from our citizens. 

On Saturday morning Mayor McDonald telegraphed to S. M. 
Booth at Milwaukee a brief account of the affair at Racine. 
Booth soon learned that Glover was in jail there, wliicli news 
he in turn telegraphed to Racine. He also issued an "extra," 
detailing the facts, and advising the citizens to watch the jail, 
the marshal and the coui't, to make sure that Glover was not 

* Sherman M. Booth was editor of the "Wisconsin Freeman," afterward called 
the "Free Democrat," an abolition paper. He rode on horseback through the streets 
of Milwaukee that day, calling the people "to the rescue," and announcing the gather- 
ing in the court-house square. 


spirited away. At 12 M. another message was sent to Booth, 
telling of the great meeting held here and the strong resolutions 
adopted, whereupon he issued another "extra." Then it was 
reported that (ilover was to Ix' hi-ought before Judge Miller at 
2 o'clock ;ui(l delivered uj) to (Jarland, so it was thought best 
to have a pul^lic meeting, and as there was no other way to 
advertise it in time, Booth rode through the streets on a horse 
announcing the meeting and calling the people "to the rescue." 

The meeting was held in the Coiu't House Square, with Dr. 
E. B. Wolcott, chairman, and A. H. Bidtield, secretary, where 
Booth in an impassioned speech explained the state of affairs, 
read the telegrams from Racine, and urged all to stand firm in 
their determination to see justice done to the poor fugitive. 
The meeting then adjourned, subject to call by the ringing of 
bells. At 5 o'clock the Racine delegation arrived, and with them 
Sheriff Murrison with warrants for the arrest of Garland and 
Cotton on the charge of assault and battery. The bells were 
rmig, the people reassembled and before they dispersed again 
Glover was free. 

John A. Messinger, a staunch Democrat, was out driving 
that day, and, it is said, happened along near the jail just as 
Glover was taken out — his face and hair streaked and matted 
with blood. Messinger 's s.ym})athy was aroused and he offered 
to take him away. He had a good horse and started for Wau- 
kesha, and, although followed by officers and other men cm foot, 
horseback and in carriages, he out-distanced and eluded them 
all. Arriving at Waukesha late at night, he drove to the home 
of Winchel I). Bacon, an alxilitiouist, who secreted ({lover in a 
room in his house, but, fearing that it would be unsafe to keep 
the fugitive in the village, Mr. Bacon called Vernon Ticheuor, 
Dr. W. D. Holbrook, Gharh'S Blackwell and one or two others 
in consultation. It was decided to take the fugitive to the home 
of Moses Ticheuor, father of A^'i'iiou Ticlienor, who lived about 
two miles south of town, (ilover was entrusted to Vernon 
Ticheuor, who took him across the fields, in the dead of night, 
followed at a little distance b_v several men, to make sin-e that 
they were not molested, to his father's barn, where lu; was 
hidden until Ghauncey C. Olin had made arrangements to convey 


liiiii to Racine, from which place, in pi'opcr disguise, he to()k a 
l)oat and escaped to Canada, never to be recaptured.* 

The house of Winchel D. l^acon at Waukesha, where CHover 
spent the "first night after," was later a portion of the famous 
Mansion House of that city. Judge Miller, who did everything 
ill his power to deliver Glover to his master, and to }>uiiish Booth 
and Rycraft, visited this room in 1873, in company with Salmon 
P. Chase. He then admitted that twenty years had modified his 
opinion of slave-holding and slave-hunting, and that men's loy- 
alty to party was often stronger than their love for the right.* 

John A. Messinger, after delivering Glover in Waukesha, 
was overwhelmed with anxiety over the possible results to 
himself of his impulsive action. He did not know then, what 
later proved to l)e the fact, that no one but his close friends had 
recognized him when he got away with the fugitive. He drove 
from Waukesha to Racine, where he stayed a day or twf) with 
friends, who could not understand his disturbed mental con- 
dition, for he walked the floor all night. His death, which oc- 
curred five months later, August 17, was hastened, without 
doubt, by his mental sutferings. 

The kind of opposition that abolitionists were "up against" 
in Wisconsin in those days, and its extent, may be miderstood 
when it is stated that on March 15, a few days after the release 
of Glover, Sherman M. Booth was pu])licly ])urned in efifigy in 
^Milwaukee by pro-slavery men. 

The interest in the Glover case was widespread, and the 
feeling became so intense that during the weeks immediately 
following, ]»ul)lic meetings were held in many towns of the 
county and all over the North, in enthusiastic approval of Mil- 
waukee's and Racine's successful defiance of the Federal at- 
temi)t to enforce the fugitive slave law in Wisconsin, and in 
sympathetic greeting and in assurance of supj)ort and assist- 

* After this account was put into print, the writer received the following state- 
ment from Mrs. Walter Derthick, a pioneer settler of Spring Prairie: 

"Glover was brought to Spring Prairie, where he staid about four weeks. His 
head was bandaged. He was taken first to Deacon Britton's, and from there to Jesse 
Mills' house, and put in the west room upstairs. Jesse Mills was my uncle. From there 
he was taken to David Pratt's, after which I don't know what became of him." 

* This account of the Glover escape was made up from the story in the "History 
of Milwaukee." 


aiice to tliuse in the hands uf the hiw, or likely to be, for such 

On the evening of March 17, a large meeting held at the 
Free Church, Burlington, with Mr. Z. Bliss, chairman, and 
W. P. Lyon, secretary, was addressed by Rev. H. H. Aniringe 
and others, and adopted a series of strong resolutions of thanks 
and sympathy for citizens of Racine and Milwaukee, it was 
also "resolved, that the fugitive slave act of 1850 is a violation 
of the rights of the citizens guaranteed by the constitution, and 
is not the law of the land; and the rescue of (xlover demon.strates 
that the law cannot be enforced, and is therefore virtually re- 
pealed in Wisconsin." 

A meeting was held in the Congregational Chnrch at Union 
Grove on the 17tli of ]\Iarch. and one at Raymond on April 6, at 
both of which meetings resolutions in condemnation of the fugi- 
tive slave law, and in commendation of the "rebels" who foiled 
the officers in its enforcement, were adopted. 

In Syracuse, New York, where they had had a similar ex- 
perience, a large public meeting was held, presided over by the 
president of the council, which sent greeting and congratulations 
to Racine and Milwaukee, and heartily thanked them "for the 
smnmary, yet truly lawful, act by which thev applied the only 
remedy that could meet the case," and wished to join with those 
cities in a solenm pledge that never again shall a friendless and 
broken-hearted fugitive be consigned to slavery from the North 
"under the accursed act of 1850." 

In the legal aftermath of the Glover case, which included 
court decisions up to the United States Supreme Tribunal, the 
Wisconsin Courts sustained the contention of the abolitionists, 
that the Federal Government could not compel citizens of a free 
state to deliver runaway- negroes to slave-chasers from the 
South, and in consecpience Wisconsin put itself on record as 
one of the original "state rights" states, and was in direct con- 
flict with the Federal Government. 

Just before the war, the Colored Baptist Church in Racine 
advertised in the local papers, the fact that their preacher and 
officers were al)out to solicit subscriptions from the pidilic for 
the ])ur])ose of I'aising money to pay for some needed rej)airs on 
tiieii' church building. During the succeeding two or three 
weeks there was great excitement in Chicago and nearby towns 


on aeeoiint of tho presence and activity of niunerous slave- 
eliasers in that city. About a month after the first announce- 
ment of the colored brethren, appeared another to the effect 
that they regretted to hr dbliged to state that they had l)een 
com])elled to discontinue tlicii' ])uilding ])hins, as several prom- 
inent meniliers of their churcli had Hed to Canada because of the 
fugitive slave excitement. 

An event which excited nation-w idc interest, and which 
had significance infinitely beyond its seeming importance, was 
the capture l)y John Brown, with the help of sixteen white men 
and five negroes, of the United States Arsenal at Harper's 
Ferry, Virginia, October IG, 1859. 

John Brown was the fanatical endxidiment of the anti- 
slavery idea, and his audacious exploit with its tragic sequel 
a few weeks later, compellingly challenged the attention of the 
world, and esiiecially of the South, to the uncompromising na- 
ture, and the heroic purpose, of those who were engaged in its 

The newspajiers all over the North kept the people in- 
formed con( erniiig the progress of the trial of Brown and his 
co-conspiratcn-s, and their execution — Brown on Decendier 2, 
and Cook and Copeland on December 16, 1859. The editorial 
comment and the public sentiment were divided concerning the 
matter, although there was probably more reprobation than ap- 
proval of John Bi'own's I'aid. But there were some men in 
most Northern communities who not only liad the vision to 
see the significance of that outbreak, but who had also the 
moral courage to honor the hero who held his life cheap that 
he might do something to promote the cause that his heart held 

John Brown was sentenced to be hung on Friday, Decem- 
ber 2, 1859. In Racine a meeting was called for Thursday night, 
December 1, at the court-h(aise, to take action with reference 
to the execution of this sentence. M. Adams was made chair- 
man and S. C. Yout, secretary. Norman Chii-k offered a reso- 
hition, which was adopted providing for the "appointment of a 
connnittee to make arrangements for the proper celebration of 
the execution of John Brown, by a pul)lic meeting at some future 
time, and also to see that the bells of the city were tolled, and 


the flags of the shipj^ing displayed at half-mast toinorrdw in 
honor of his memory." 

H. P. Witbecki Noinian Clarke. Dr. 8. W. Wilson, Dr. 
Rufus Clarke and M. Adams were appointed as such committee. 
The meeting was addressed Wy William Perm Lyoii. Dr. S. W. 
Wilson, H. P. Witbeck, Dr. Rufus Clarke, M. Adams and others. 
Many public and othei- buildings were draped in mourning on 
December 2nd, and the bells were tolled from 12 to 2 o'clock. On 
the Sunday following the pulpit of the Baptist Church was 
draped in mourning as a memorial of John Brown. 

We have been told that during the John Brown excitement 
in Racine a firm of Democratic lawyers having offices in the 
Titus Hall Block — now the JNIanufacturers' National Bank 
Building — had a banner thirty to forty feet lung stretched across 
the front of their offices, facing JMarket Square, on which was 
l)ainted in large letters, easily read across the square: 


which sufficiently well indicated their sentiments. 

The head of this firm of lawyers was Horace T. Sanders, 
and he supported the policies of the Democratic party until, 
led l)y its Southern wing, it undertook to disrupt the Uinon in 
1861, when he became an ardent "war democrat." We are in- 
formed by competent judges, who knew him well and heai'd 
him often, that he was the greatest "stunq) speaker," or "spell- 
binder" that the city has produced and used his ability in this 
direction very effectively during the early months of the war, 
in promoting eidistments. In the spring and summer of 1862 
he organized the Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, one 
company of which was made up largely from Racine County, 
and went south as its colonel. He did good service in the w-ar 
and came home a brigadier general. 

On the evening of the day that Cook and Copeland were 
hanged, December 16, 1859, the coiii't-liouse was filled to listen 
to addresses l)y Marshall M. Strong, Rev. Mr. Fellows and 
others on the meaning of the recent events in Virginia. Another 
meeting was held at Titus Hall the following night, with (ieorge 
S. Wright as chairman, and addressed by Rev. Mr. Brown and 
others, all of which indicates that thei'c was great ])ublic inter- 
est in Racine in these events. 


111 an (.'xtciulcd account of the cxt'cution of John l!i-o\vii in 
the Daily Journal of December 8, 1859, occurs this statement: 
"On the \\ay to the scaffold, John IJiowii wrote the following 
and handed it to Mr. Ilirani O'Bannoii: '1 am convinced that 
the <;reat iniquity that hangs over this country cannot be purged 
without iniiiieiise l)loodslied. When I first came to this state 1 
thought differently, l)ut am now (•(uiviiiced that 1 was mis- 
taken.' " lie had prophetic vision at the last. 


The national cainpaigii of 18(30 was carried on with tre- 
mendous enthusiasm, under intense excitement. It was real- 
ized that a crisis was at hand, and Racine City and County, in 
common with the country at large, was stirred as it had never 
been befcn-e. Almost evei-y man and boy in the town belonged 
to some marching or other political clul), the Republicans being 
called the "Wide Awakes." 

Bands, singing clubs, drum corps, semi-military organiza- 
tions and every other known method for arousing interest and 
enthusiasm were utilized. The marching clubs were uniformed 
and carried banners and torches, which martial exhibit made 
a strong appeal to the boys and young men. On the occasion 
of some lug demonstration, the Republican paraders would 
march through all the principal streets, not forgetting or neg- 
lecting the "enemies' country," the "blood}' Fourth" ward, 
which was the city's Democratic breeding place, and which, be- 
fore the parade got back into "town." was ])retty sure to do 
something to justify its appellation. 

A tyi^ical rally of that campaign was that held l)y the Re- 
publicans on Ooctober 16. It was an all-day affair. "Wide 
Awake" marching clubs from out of town began arriving early 
in the forenoon, with l)ands of music and drum corps. The 
"Lincoln Rangers" on horses were a picturesciue feature. J. I. 
Case was marshal of the day, and led the grand parade all 
through the city, including the "bloody Fourth," where one of 
the paraders, a ])()y, Avas hit on the head by a brick and nearly 

At 1 o'clock the parade arrived at East Public Square, now 
East Park, where a stand had been erected for speakers, from 
which James R. Doolittle and "Long John" Went worth of 



Chicago, in English, and Dr. Lieb and a Mr. Lindemann in Ger- 
man, addressed the multitude. Owen Lovejoy of Illinois and 
Congressman John F. Potter of Wisconsin were on the program, 
but could not be present. In the evening a big torchlight pro- 
cession was held, ending in a fine display of fireworks. 


Three days previous to this rally, on Saturday, October 13, 
Stephen A. Douglas, the "Little Giant" of the Democratic party, 
spoke to the citizens of Racine for eight minutes from the plat- 
form of his car, while the train waited at the Lake Shore Rail- 
road Station, but he was hoarse and could scarcely be heard 
twenty feet away. 

The election of Abraham Lincoln on November <>, 1860, 
satisfied the slave oligarchy that there was no hope for their 
institution" in a continued union with the North, and they 
began at once to take the necessary steps for the formation of 
a Southern Confederacy. On December 20, South Carolina 
seceded, followed in rapid succession by Mississippi, Florida, 
Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. When the news of the secession 
of Louisiana reached Washington, John A. Dix, Secretary of 
the Treasury, telegraphed the treasury agent at New Orleans 
the historic message, "If any man attempts to haul down the 
American Flag, shoot him on the spot." On February 9, 1861, 
the Southern Confederacy was organized at Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, with Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens as presi- 
dent and vice-president, respectively, and the rebellion against 
the Government was in full swing. 

The ti'uth about the situation began to filter slowly through 
tlie North, which came soon to realize what it had been loath 
to believe — that the South really meant to fight — had, in fact, 
been engaged in acts of aggression against the Government for 
months. The Racine Journal of ^larch 27, 1861, contained the 
following editorial paragra])h: "Going, going, gone; Icjok at 
tlie Govermnent property, forts, revenue and money already 
colle<'ted at the South. Look at tlic easy steps l)y which the 
sti'ong fortifications in the harbor at Charleston have fallen 
into the hands of traitors. Let every person in the North who 
has the spirit of a man, run in the house and get under the bed." 



Under these cireuinstances the people of Racine began to 
gather in public meetings, in an effort to understand the mean- 
ing of events, and to try to determine what was the right course 
of action to pursue. The imminence of war was the chief topic 
of conversation wherever two or three or more were gathered 

On Friday, February 22, a Union meeting was held at Titus 
Hall, addressed by (ien. Halbert E. Paine of Milwaukee; a com- 
mittee composed of N. H. Dale, J. P. Wooster, A. P. Button, 
William P. Lyon and Dr. S. W. Wilson, reported some vigorous 
I'^nion resolutions, which, before adoption by the meeting, were 
hotly objected to l)y li. T. Sanders and other Democratic lead- 
ers present, tht)ugh without effect. 

A "war" meeting, which was held in the court-house on 
February 24, was characterized by Editor Clement of the Jour- 
nal as a political move by the Democrats, and there was evidence 
to support the charge. WTiatever the purpose of the organizers, 
the result was the adoption of a series of strong resolutions in 
support f)f the administration. The court-house was filled to a 
"jam" and the meeting was addressed by Chas. Clement, a 
fav(»rite speaker; H. T. Sanders, the best spell-liinder in the 
state; N. H. Dale, M. M. Strong and others. Half a dozen sets 
of resolutions were presented — by M. M. Strong, A. G. Harts- 
horn. E. Cram, A. P. Dutton, (I. B. Judd and William P. Lyon. 

On April 1.5, the President issued a ]»roclamation calling 
for 75,000 volunteers, only 1,000 of which number were asked 
of Wisconsin. The first company offered from this state was 
the "Park City (ireys," of Kenosha, which volunteered on the 
17th inst.. and which went into camp at Milwaukee on the 26th, 
the "Belle City Rifles." Racine's first organization, being at 
the Lake Shore Station to salute and cheer them as they passed 
through this city. 

The first week aftei' the bcgiiniing of war was one of tre- 
mendous excitement in Racine. The firing on Siunter had acted 
as a precipitate of the various opinions and theories as to what 
should be done; now every loyal man knew that we had to fight. 

Those were testing times for Racine men and women; neu- 
trality was not tolerated; it was demanded that they should 
l)c either for or against the Union. Flag raisings were everv day 


events and were (•ciciiKuiidus affairs, for the stars and stripes 
looked good and meant much to loyal Americans in the days 
when I'ebellion was rampant and treason in the air. The very 
existenoe of onr eonntry was at stake, and the question as to 
wliether or not tills people was worthy of a free government 
was to be put to the i»roof. We shall see how Racine County 
men and women met the test. 


The following call was printed in the local papers April 17, 
five days after the tiring on Sumter: 

"Our country is in peril. Young men, are you ready — have 
you any- love of justice — any sense of right — any fire of jjatriot- 
ism burning in your breast? 

"The undersigned invite the young men of our city who 
are willing to unite in the formation of an independent rifle 
company to meet them at Titus Hall this evening. 

"The President has called for one regiment fr(mi Wiscon- 
sin; are you willing to show yourselves good citizens, devoted 
patriots and living men? 

"William E. Strong, N. J. Field, Jesse L. Burch, H. Utley, 
William Rowlands, William L. Parsons, Sam Manderson, John 
Baunian, (leorge Baunian, Fred G. Lacy, Walter Gregor}^, S. A. 
Seaman, .lames 11. Hinds, Mahlon Barry." 

On the evening of the same day at Titus Hall, a monster 
war meeting was held, attended by all classes of citizens, men 
and women. Mayor (ieoi'ge G. Noi'throp was president, Wil- 
liam K. May, secretary, and the following men acted as vice- 
presidents: Thomas Falvey, I'L \l. ( 'ooley, Thomas .1. Fmerson, 
L. S. Blake and Elisha Raymond. The inevitable connnittee on 
resolutions was ap])ointed, of which Charles K. Dyer was chair- 
man. Pending the repctrt of this committee, the band played 
"Yankee Doodle," and speeches were made by Senator James 
R. Doolittle, Thomas Falvey, Henry S. Dui'aiid", H. G. Winslow, 
Di-. Kiia].]), !))■. .1. !.. Page, Charles E. Dyei' and J. G. i\Ic]\[ynn. 


A United States Flag was observed flo